14:30 ASCOT

The Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes is a Group 1 run over 1m 4f.

It’s important to find horses that will appreciate the much softer conditions, since they will be different to what most of the field have raced on previously this season.

The fact that Antonia De Vega  has only been seen twice this season suggests that she may have been campaigned for this race. The Ralph Beckett-trained four-year-old has been successful on both those starts only two starts this season and was particularly impressive in her latest success just over three weeks ago at Newmarket.

She’s been a winner on soft ground and ran very well in this race last year but got going all too late. I expect a big run from her under Harry Bentley.


Eric Alston is an underrated trainer, especially when he has sprinters in his care.

He has improved the mark of Redrosezorro from 69 to 80 this season.

He has been well-beaten on his last two starts but will love both the soft ground and the pace he’ll have to attack on a course where has won five of his seven career starts.

16:15 ASCOT

The Balmoral Handicap is another highly competitive race, with the first eight in the betting all holding very strong claims.

King Ottokar  for trainer Charlie Fellowes is a horse that I’ve long thought is of Group quality, but we’re yet to see the best of him.

He needs cut in the ground and, following some runs that were better than the bare form would suggest, he’s been dropped to a mark of 100 – 6lb lower than where he started the season.

Frankie Dettori has been booked for the ride on Alternative Fact  by trainer Ed Dunlop.

The slowly maturing five-year-old will love the conditions and has already run very well at this course this year. He was a big eye-catcher on his latest start and will be doing his best work late on.


Captain Jameson is now looking like a very well-handicapped horse. I think he’ll take advantage of his latest mark here, which is the lowest of his career.

He loves soft ground and always goes well at Catterick – a course where he’s never finished outside the first three.

He was a good third in this race last year and has run well this season on quicker ground, which hasn’t always been to his liking.

He looks set to run a big race and surpass last year’s effort.

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