THERE are some short-priced favourites on the card at Ascot and the best of them should be WALDGEIST (2.25) in the Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes, a Group 3 contest over 1m 4f.
Andre Fabre’s colt was beaten on the nod by Brametot in the French Derby at Chantilly in June and his most recent outing came at the Curragh when he ran on into fourth spot behind Capri in the Irish Derby. Waldgeist was restrained well off the pace that day and met some trouble in running as he tried to close down the principals from a pretty impossible position.
BLUE POINT (3.0) has the look of another winning favourite, with the Godolphin sprinter dropping into Group 3 company following a string of solid efforts at the top table.
He kicked off the season in style by thumping Harry Angel over course and distance in May but the runner-up has avenged that defeat in spades by beating Blue Point pointless at Royal Ascot and Haydock. There is no Harry Angel or Carravaggio in opposition here and Blue Point loves this track.
For punters scouting around for an each-way alternative then Danzeno fits the bill as he will enjoy the track/ground.
ETERNALLY (4.10) landed the totepool October Stakes 12 months ago as a three-year-old, beating 14 rivals with a powerhouse performance from the front and is taken to dish out a repeat dose.
The three-year-olds in opposition don’t look the strongest representatives of the Classic generation and Eternally can give Robert Havlin a welcome high-profile scalp on his return from a contested drugs ban.
John Gosden’s filly chased home Al Jazi and Goodwood in August and found one too good in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster when beaten by Aidan O’Brien’s Music Box.
MOJITO (3.35) has been laughing at the handicapper this summer and a 9lb rise for his most recent victory may not prevent him rattling off a four-timer in the totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot.
The William Haggas-trained three-year-old readily mastered stablemate Battered at York, supplementing previous successes at Sandown and Newmarket. Stall 18 means he will be starting from an exposed position on the stands’ side and Jim Crowley will be keen to tuck in and get some cover.
On the other side of the track I’ll be throwing a few quid ew on Birchwood at a big price as he has been running well in defeat and likes some cut underfoot.
The fillies hold centre stage in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket and little separates about half a dozen going to post.
The suggestion here is an each-way punt on QEMAH (2.40), winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot from Aljazzi and Usherette, who both reoppose.
Qemah has a bit to find with a couple of her rivals on her Irish run when only fifth to Hydrangea in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but she was held up too far back. Consequently, she was unable to trade blows with the leaders, eventually staying on into fifth spot.
Redcar put on their big race of the season, the totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy, and DARKANNA (3.20) boasts a clear chance on form.
Richard Fahey saddles no less than eight juveniles and although 23 runners are declared, there is a lot of dead wood floating around. Darkanna ran fifth to Tangled from an unfavourable draw at York, then threw in another terrific effort last weekend when running fifth to Clemmie in the Cheveley Park Stakes at HQ.
Stablemate Crownthorpe has a lot to do on ratings but is improving at a rate of knots.