A quality array of races at Ascot, but our attention, as always, is drawn to the 18 runners hurtling down the straight 7 furlongs.
Again we have the back end of the season quandary of the well handicapped older horses versus the progressive 3yos.
We have been keen on Johnny Barnes all year and suffered painfully when he just couldn’t go the pace over 6f at Haydock last weekend. He is quickly turned out here and we know this course and distance will suit a whole lot better. However he is up another 2lbs here, and 108 is a stiff mark to be winning this race from.
We will put out trust in the younger legs of likely favourite Mojito who comes here on a roll after three straight handicap wins. In fairness, his mark has risen from 83 to 104 in that time and this will be his toughest race yet. That said, his win last time at York was a smooth effort that never looked in any doubt, a 9lb higher mark will stretch him, but with only 7 lifetime runs, he is capable of improving further and doing enough to beat a more exposed field.
Over at Redcar, they have their main race meeting of the year. Once again, we will dodge the main event and look instead at the closing 5f handicap. The Tim Easterby trained Nuns Walk owes us a favour having pipped us out of a big priced double last week. She is turned out again quickly here, and this strapping filly, having only her 6th run can improve again off what is only a 2lb higher mark.
Her win was a close run affair, but the front 3 pulled well clear that day and it also shows a crucial liking for the venue. She can follow up.
Mojito, (1535 Ascot), 1pt win, 5/1 generally available
Nuns Walk, (1740 Redcar), 1pt win, 4/1 generally available
Mojito & Nuns Walk, 1pt win double, approx 29/1
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