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IT IS Shergar Cup day at Ascot tomorrow and of course jockeyship, as well as the horses themselves, are of the utmost importance in this international affair.
With Japanese all-time great Yutake Take on board I was interested in Sir Robert Cheval in the opening five furlong event at 1.05 and he should go very well, but there are better handicapped horses below him and so the nod goes to outsider JUST GLAMOROUS (20/1) and my NAP who is better off at the weights with SRC after beating here last autumn.
The stayers event at 1.40 looks a wide open affair, but I have a feeling that the mount of Hayley Turner, BYRON FLYER, could run a huge race at around the 8/1 marker.
The Ian Williams’s trained charge is now within 2lbs of his last winning mark and despite a poor run last time out in the Northumberland Plate, he showed in May at Haydock that retains all of his ability.
The JLT Cup sixth Cleonte is quite rightly the clear favourite with room to improve again while I can also see James Fanshawe’s Lord George running well on his return to turf for the first time since last September.
The other race I am interested in on the card is the Shergar Cup Challenge Handicap over a mile-and-a-half at 2.15 in which top-weight EDDYSTONE ROCK could be the answer.
He ran his best race to date this season over the course and distance when a never nearer sixth of the 17 runners in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot and could be the each-way value here.
The big race at Haydock Park is the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at 3.05 and this group three event could be heading in the direction of ELWAZIR, the least exposed in the field of seven after running away with the London Cup Handicap at Ascot last time out.
Fellow three-year-old Zaaki looks the biggest danger unless the rain dramatically changes the ground in which case the enigmatic Brorocco could become a springer in the market place.
Later on at the Lancashire track WAR GLORY could be the answer to the hugely competitive extended mile handicap at 3.40 in which the likes of hat-trick seeking Markka and top-weight Via Via also have pretty solid claims.
The Sweet Solera Stakes holds pride of place at Newmarket on the July course and of the seven entries preference is for the Richard Hannon-trained AJRAR.
This daughter of Nayef stepped up on her win in a Lingfield Park novice with a cracking second in a listed event at Sandown Park and gets the vote over the John Gosden-trained Pennywhistle.
The big class two handicap at 4.20 has a small but select field in play with Shanghai Glory interesting stepped up to seven furlongs, but he may have to settle for a place only behind SPANISH CITY (nb) who has run a series of cracking races in these seven furlong events and looked a shade unlucky in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket and despite a small rise still looks capable of going close off a mark of 93 here.
Off a rating of 98, former Wokingham winner Out Do has solid claims on the sand at Chelmsford in the 2.40 and I make him the biggest danger to my nb of the day, GO FAR.
The eight-year-old has dropped 10lbs in the ratings this year and should now be spot on following two runs this campaign on the turf and is worth a shot at a big each-way price from a nice box draw in stall number four.
Finally, have a second look at the Ayr card in the evening and the claims of KHELMAN in the 6.35.
This veteran performer has always been very hard to predict, but runs off a career low mark of 66 and every drop of the forecast rain will definitely be in his favour.
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