Rory Delargy returns with 2 selections from Ascot…
2:00 Qipco British Champions Sprint
It’s tempting to take on Librisa Breeze here, as the correct price for him based on this year’s form is much bigger than the one he’s been trading at all week, and I expect him to drift markedly on the day. On the other hand, he might actually have a chance back at the scene of his biggest success, and although he’s yet to reward each-way support this year, he did catch the eye in the Maurice de Gheest on his penultimate start, and does reserve his best for this track. He should still be a bigger price, though, so if you fancy him, wait until mid-morning at least, but don’t leave it later than Tony Bloom’s afternoon nap.
If I’m not taking last year’s winner on, then who is it to be?
Harry Angel flopped last time, had a nightmare at Royal Ascot and has never won here, so he’s another ripe for the taking, although he’s already on the slide. Instead, I’m going after 2017 runner-up Tasleet, who simply hasn’t looked the same horse in two runs this year, and an absence from May to September may be ground related, but doesn’t do much for confidence. Nor, if I’m honest does the fitting of blinkers, although the headgear could be what he needs given the difference in his demeanour this year compared to last. He’s also equipped with a tongue-tie here and I could buy into that being an idea if he’d been travelling strongly and not getting home, but he’s been behind the bridle simply not travelled with much enthusiasm this term. He met some trouble in running in the Sprint Cup at Haydock, but for me he simply allowed himself to drop out of a gap between horses rather than go through it, and that is a very bad sign in a supposedly competitive sprinter.
Recommended: Lay Tasleet for a place @ 3.5 or shorter (max liability 5pts)
2:40 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
I don’t think there’s much in the way of a puzzle about the F&M Stakes, with Lah Ti Dar the class act in the race and likely to win if at her best, but there one or two niggles, simply in the shape of unknowns such as track and ground, and that means that there is a more obvious way of taking a profit from this race, and that’s to back her stable companion Coronet for a place at similar odds.
Unlike Lah Ti Dar, Coronet has no questions to answer in terms of her ability to be competitive in all the circumstances she finds herself in, a Group 2 winner over C&D who has stacks of experience at the top level, invariably running with credit, and she was third in similar conditions a year ago. She seems as good as ever, and this race looks weaker in terms of depth, so she makes plenty of appeal for the place-only punter, especially with second favourite Kitesurf also unproven on very soft ground.
Recommended: Back Coronet for a place @ 2.38 or better (3pts liability)