Early Bird – 18th June

A good winner with Sir Busker gave us a great start to the day, though a couple of disappointing runs put a bit of a dampner on the day. At least we are going the right way.

Tips

1:15 Ascot – Highland Chief – 1pt e/w @ 14/1 1/5th odds 5 places widely available

1:50 Ascot – Mountain Angel – 0.75pt e/w @ 16/1 Paddy & BetVictor 1/5th odds 4 places

4:10 Ascot – Finest Sound – 2pt win @ 7/2 Bet365

Analysis

1:15 Ascot – Highland Chief – 1pt e/w @ 14/1 1/5th odds 5 places widely available

A cracking looking handicap with plenty of unexposed types taking on horses that have performed well in handicaps already. Really feel there is a lot more to come from Highland Chief though. Third in the Chesham despite a lot going wrong, he did disappoint in the Royal Lodge when starting as 5/1 suggesting more was expected. Winter off, cheekpieces added, could well benefit from that time to fill out as he was a big horse. Yard form is fine, he does have a tricky draw to overcome and has to concede fitness to a few but the price is fair considering the potential it possesses.

1:50 Ascot – Mountain Angel – 0.75pt e/w @ 16/1 Paddy & BetVictor 1/5th odds 4 places

Always a good race, if not one of the best listed races run in the year. Last year it was practically a group 2! The winner Addeyebb has finished runner up in two UK Group 1s as well as winning two Group 1s in Australia. The runner up was Magic Wand who has had a super year travelling the world placing and winning Group 1s, earning almost £3.5m in the process. Third was Elarqam who got revenge on Addeyebb in a group 2 at York before was third in the Juddmonte.
Latrobe in 4th went and won a group 3 after a close 2nd in a group 2. Now admittedly Mountain Angel was 3 1/2 lengths behind the 4th but it didn’t get the best of runs that day and so could have finished a lot closer. Has run well since without winning, though was very disappointing when last seen. Been given plenty of time, the yard is in form and I suspect this has been a target for a while. At the moment the race doesn’t look as strong as last year and at least this has the proven form outside 2yo and 3yo level. Given a run I am hopeful it should put in a good performance.

4:10 Ascot – Finest Sound – 2pt win @ 7/2 Bet365

Hard to ignore the obvious here in Finest Sound who romped home by over 5 lengths 10 days ago in a Haydock handicap. 7lb well in at the weights for that, the horse has clearly benefited from a wind operation and tongue tie being fitted. Well clear on Racing Post Ratings, it looks to be well drawn as well considering it is middle to high. Assuming it doesn’t bounce and runs its race then it would take something special to beat it.