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Zarwaan and Highland Acclaim The Bets In Tough Victoria Cup

07 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Zarwaan and Highland Acclaim The Bets In Tough Victoria Cup

Pair amongst those with best claims at nice prices in Ascot cavalry charge

The Victoria Cup at Ascot is the big betting race of the day and of course it looks a difficult contest to solve. In recent years a high draw has been an advantage in this and it seems most of the fancied runners won’t be inconvenienced by if history repeats itself.

One of the most interesting runners has to be Zarwaan at 14/1. He’s run well off this sort of mark in similar big field races and has looked worth trying back at 7f having often travelled well without finding quite as much as expected. His efforts last season probably need upgrading as many came when trainer Ed Dunlop was very much out of form but he certainly isn’t out of form this season, he saddled the Chester Cup winner just this week. If Zarwaan either improves for his first run this season or improves back at 7f he’ll go very close.

Highland Acclaim for David O’Meara has to have claims. His trainer has talked about him being a Wokingham horse this year and his form since August last year entitles him to run very well. His final run last year at York was a great effort considering he was the only one to come from off the pace at a track where 6f would have been plenty sharp enough and if he’s tuned up for his reappearance he’s another that is likely at least place at 18/1.

One other worth noting at 18/1 is American Hope. He has run really well over this straight course twice, on his second run here he was only beaten on the line by Mange All who came out and won again after that. A problem ended his season early but he’s been in decent form this year finishing a close second on his reappearance in a conditions race before predictably being outpaced (and outclassed) in a Group 3 over 6f. A big field over a stiff 7f is perfect for him and he’s not handicapped out of it.

Temptress is tempting for repeat course and distance win

The preceding handicap at Ascot should also present some decent betting opportunities. Solar Magic has run well twice over course and distance and although up 7lbs for finishing 2nd in a listed contest on the all weather, she’s very much earned that mark and is lightly enough raced to improved further. She looked a little short of pace on that occasion though so should be followed over slightly further, with today’s trip possibly now on the sharp side for her.

Another lightly raced filly here is Temptress who also has strong course and distance form, she won a handicap here by 4.5 lengths before picking up an injury and being rushed back towards the end of the season. It turned out that was a bad idea as she disappointed on her last start but the form of that Ascot win couldn’t be much stronger with the runner up, Felwah, winning her next two starts and the fourth, Lady Tiana, since winning at listed level. If she can repeat that form on her seasonal reappearance here she should win this.

Easy lead could give Agent Murphy the advantage in listed contest

There is a 12f listed race also on Ascot’s Saturday card and likely favourite Winter Thunder will be desperate for drying conditions. His only below par run last season came on rain softened ground at Newmarket. He has group 1 entries this season but it’s perhaps a surprise he wasn’t seen in Dubai over the winter for connections, hinting that he’s possibly had a problem that has held him up. If that is the case he wouldn’t be one to be taking a short price about just yet for a yard that has had plenty of favourites turned over recently.

Rawaki is a solid alternative but we know exactly how good he is which probably isn’t quite good enough. Meanwhile Red Galileo needs to step up on the form he’s shown this season.

So if Winter Thunder isn’t quite ready to do himself justice then it could be Agent Murphy from the in form Brian Meehan yard. He was favourite to win a big handicap a week ago at Newmarket off a mark of 98 but was withdrawn due to very fast ground. He’s got strong course and distance form which is always a help at Ascot and surely has more to offer this year having only made his racecourse debut a year ago. He’s at his best when leading early and all of his rivals here like to be held up so he could get an easy time of things up front.

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