MUBTASIMAH (3.20) stands out at Ascot as she seeks to put behind her a disappointing effort at York's Ebor festival.
The William Haggas-trained filly, winner of her first three starts this season, was well touted to land the 7f handicap won by 66-1 outsider Excellent Times but found little under pressure from the furlong pole. This is less competitive and she is worth another chance.
DREAM OF DREAMS (4.10) has been handed a golden opportunity to nab a Group 1 prize in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old just failed to catch Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot but flopped behind Ten Sovereigns at Newmarket when never looking happy on the July course’s undulations encountering firm ground. Dream of Dreams has been given a nice break and the late defection of market principals Advertise and Ten Sovereigns opens the door for a big run.
Stewards’ Cup gamble Khaadem is the new favourite, despite taking a leap in class. The Tin Man edged out Brando last year and both will have their loyal supporters along with course winner Hello Youmzain.
SHARJA BRIDGE (2.25) found Group 1 company too hot to handle on his last two starts and Roger Varian drops his gelding into Group 3 class in the Superior Mile. Sharja Bridge landed last autumn’s Balmoral Handicap on soft at Ascot and is fancied to have the edge over last year’s winner Here Comes When and course and distance winners Miss O’Connor and Great Scot. Matterhorn caught Desert Encounter at the top of his game at Windsor (pair clear) and is not discounted along with upgraded handicapper Raising Sand in a very open and intriguing contest.
CORELLI (3.35) has been beaten in three tight finishes this season but his luck can turn in the Old Borough Cup. John Gosden’s top weight has been nudged up another 2lb after going down in a photo at York’s Ebor meeting but this much slower surface may well suit (won at Yarmouth on soft last season). Alan King has been in sparkling form over the past couple of weeks and winning hurdler Rainbow Dreamer is of interest along with course and distance winner Reshoun and November Handicap runner-up Not So Sleepy.
Gosden and Frankie Dettori team up earlier on the card with another top weight, FIRST IN LINE (1.50). Like Corelli, he found one too good at York in the shape of Hamish in the Melrose Handicap and that is solid form. First In Line thumped Wise Ruler by six lengths on good to soft at Doncaster in early August so should handle conditions. The Queen’s Calculation is on a four-timer, while Moon King boasts five straight victories for Ralph Beckett, including one over course and distance on heavy.
KUWAIT CURRENCY (3.15) made a winning all-weather debut at Kempton last month and is fancied to produce a repeat performance in the London Mile Handicap. Richard Hannon’s three-year-old is closely matched with penalised Kasbaan, winner of a qualifier four days ago, on a collateral form line through Al Jellaby but is slightly better drawn.