A hike in racing quality as an excellent Ascot Friday card paves the way for a great weekend.
A few weeks ago we were keen on Antony as he sought to repeat a win in a high quality course and distance event.
He was comfortably held that day with a worrying tendency to jump left and lose ground.
That said, this (1515 GMT) is undoubtedly a weaker event, he is a useful 2lbs lower, and crucially he gets first time cheekpieces to assist concentration and stay straight. It may just be enough.
The closing handicap hurdle features two market leaders, Verdana Blue and Midnight Maestro, who contested a top handicap here recently.
That may just overstate that form, and the recent runaway Exeter win of Speredek may have been a little overlooked.
Sure, he’s got a 7lbs penalty here, but that all-the-way win was earned by 15l from a trio trained by Henderson, Nicholls and King, and the handicapper would have him another 2lb higher if he could.
The galloping stiff left handed track at Exeter is a good rehearsal for Ascot, and he could shock the big guns.
I’m a punter, get me outta here….
Antony, (1515 Ascot), 1pt win, 3/1 generally available
Speredek (1550 Ascot), 1pt win, 6/1 generally available
Antony & Speredek, 1pt win double, approx 27/1
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