A 6lb hike shouldn’t stop FANTASTIC FOX going in again today at Ascot. Andrew Balding’s charge looked all class last time at Haydock in sloppy conditions where nearly everything went wrong. The fact he still managed to win is testament to the horse’s ability and I’m hopeful he can shoulder top weight to victory at Ascot this afternoon.
Later on the card, the booking of Jamie Spencer aboard NORTHERN EXPRESS could be a shrewd one. This horse seem to benefit from a patient ride when winning at York two runs ago but got bogged down in unsuitable conditions last time at Haydock. His trainer has since admitted he shouldn’t have ran that day so the firmer conditions at Ascot today should definitely be in his favour.
Up at Haydock I expect a bold showing from GOOD LUCK FOX with Oisin Muprhy booked to ride. Paul Midgley has worked his magic again and rejuvenated this horse back over sprint trips. He has looked a reformed character this term and I can definitely see the speedy 5f at Haydock suiting him. His price has contracted since first show but I still think he has an outstanding chance.
Ascot 3.40 – Fantastic Fox
Ascot 4.45 – Northern Express
Haydock 2.55 – Good Luck Fox
DOCUMENTING will have his hands full today if he is to land back to back victories in the 3.45 at Ascot today. With top weight it certainly won’t be an easy task but his recent runs suggest he is certainly back on song and he is now back down to last year’s winning mark. He loves the straight track here at Ascot and at 8/1 he looks a sound each way play.
It could be a ‘déjà vu’ sort of day at Ascot as FORTAMOUR bids to retain his crown in the 4.55 Fever Tree handicap. He stayed on gamely last year under Cieren Fallon and that same rider renews the partnership today. His ability t stay 7f will certainly help here today and his recent victory at Ripon shows he is right back on song. He lines up off a 4lb lower mark than when he won it last year so he must be respected.
Up at Haydock I think RHYTMIC INTENT could finally land the big pot that he has threatened to for such a long time. He would certainly prefer a bit more cut in the ground but he performed very well at York last time out in similar conditions so perhaps he isn’t so fussy in his old age. Either way his form is rock solid and he is becoming a bit of a standing dish in these staying handicaps so you’re almost guaranteed a run for your money.
It could be head against the wall time for his supporters if MONDAMMEJ fails to win today although I suspect many of you have given up already. However, this will be the first time I have backed him this year as I think the race is set up to suit. There is plenty of pace on in the race which will suit both him and Jawwaal, who are closely matched on their York form. I think the selection will reverse that form today as his rival was far better placed than he was that day and there was literally nothing in it at the line. Today could be his day!
Ascot 3.45 – Documenting
Ascot 4.55 Fortamour
Haydock 2.55 – Rhythmic Intent
Haydock 4.05 – Mondammej