THERE is somewhat of a Cheltenham Festival feel to the Ascot Stakes (5.00pm) with Gordon Elliott’s Pied Piper and Willie Mullins’ Bring On The Night currently battling it out for favouritism.
Funnily enough, Nicky Henderson was supposed to saddle another of the leading fancies in Ahorsewithnoname but she sadly wasn’t declared.
Both current market leaders are likely to be hard nuts to crack but there are enough grounds for concern with the trip for the former and the fast ground for the latter to take them on.
For that reason, I’m prepared to throw a few quid at another Irish raider in ARCADIAN SUNRISE at 11/2 who caught the eye at Chester last time suggesting he is worth a crack at this trip.
He won nicely at York’s Ebor meeting last summer and looks sure to be competitive off just a seven-pound higher mark.
Ideally, he’d like the going to be that little bit slower too, but he looks a stayer on the upgrade and the hugely talented Harry Davies takes off a valuable five pounds.
The other one of huge interest is last year’s winner RESHOUN at 14/1, returning on the same mark.
He was eye-catching at Haydock last time over an inadequate trip and can go well despite a wretched draw in stall 19.
Cazoo Derby-winning jockey Richard Kingscote is riding at the top of his game, and he should be able to get out and settle the eight-year-old in a decent spot.
There are plenty of runners in this field with stamina questions to answer and his ability to stay as well as handle the trip and track are huge positives.
Arcadian Sunrise ew 5.00pm Ascot
Reshoun ew 5.00pm Ascot