Ascot selections Friday 18th June
The expected rain has materialised and we now have going completely reversed from the first three days with soft ground prevailing. Our selections for Friday are with that in mind. We found a Surefire winner (advised 13/2) yesterday, with Nagano placed for the each-way (12/1).
Ascot 3.05: Title
I must admit to a change of mind in this race due to the change in ground. Tasman Bay was originally preferred, but I have my doubts about his stamina in such testing conditions. Instead I am going to take a flyer on TITLE out of maiden company.
He finished well ahead of Tasman Bay on debut in heavy conditions at Newbury last year, only just going down to defeat. Back at the same track for his return, he travelled beautifully over 11f but just got outbattled by Glen Savage. However he made no mistake at Yarmouth last time, again travelling well before seeing off Sea Karats, a well regarded Haggas filly who holds an Irish Oaks entry.
Title does have a very ungainly head carriage, but he has already shown he can handle cut in the ground and this does not look the strongest race for the grade.
Ascot 4.20: Pretty Gorgeous
I am giving another chance to PRETTY GORGEOUS to regain her top form as a juvenile. She was seventh in a muddling Irish Guineas, but went into that without the benefit of a prep run.
We know she can handle the mud as she was a good winner of the Fillies Mile at Newmarket on soft ground, having already won a Group 2 at the Curragh on a similar surface. The King of Ascot Frankie Dettori has been booked today, so the filly really ought to get a perfect tactical ride around this tricky round mile track.
Ascot 5.35: Win O’Clock & Quickthorn
The weird effect of a wide draw being an advantage around 12f at Ascot was proven again with Surefire and Loving Dream winning over this distance yesterday and with softer ground today, the wider draw under the trees can be beneficial again today.
The rain has come in time for WIN O’CLOCK who stepped up on his reappearance run when a solid fourth at York over this trip last month. Whilst there was a little cut in the ground that day, he will truly revel in conditions here as he won on heavy at Leicester in the autumn and ran a succession of good races in deep ground all season. Stall 18 can prove a real bonus.
QUICKTHORN has been well found in the market, but for good reason. He hosed up on ground that was softer than the official good-to-soft at Haydock last time and is improving very fast beyond his new rating of 97, having looked fairly clueless in his maiden runs. Conditions will play to his favour today, as will his wide draw.
Ascot 6.10: Warrior Brave & Dream Composer
Last year I followed Silvestre de Sousa in with Art Power and I am doing so again in this new race with WARRIOR BRAVE. The horse has been transformed with cheekpieces on his last two starts, winning at Goodwood before running a cracker in behind the classy Carbis Bay at Sandown on Saturday.
This is a quick reappearance, but as a sprinter he should not have taken too much out of himself. Having got outpaced at halfway he plugged on willingly for a strong second and blinkers are applied today as connections apparently go all out for a big pot today.
DREAM COMPOSER looks interesting from a potentially good high draw. This is a fast improving gelding who has improved for a drop back in trip. A fast finishing second at downland Goodwood, he relished the hill at Carlisle to win with something to spare next time. He came from far back to win at Kempton last time and provided he does not get too far behind early, could provide promising apprentice Laura Pearson with a second win of the week.
1pt each-way – Title – 3.05 Ascot – 11/2 general
1pt win – Pretty Gorgeous – 4.20 Ascot – 7/2 general
1pt each-way – Win O’Clock – 5.35 Ascot – 10/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt win – Quickthorn – 5.35 Ascot – 9/2 Bet365
1pt each-way – Warrior Brave – 6.10 Ascot – 13/2 William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 6)
0.5pts each-way – Dream Composer – 6.10 Ascot – 8/1 Bet365 (¼ odds 1st 5)