Sextant can start off the season on a high note
14:15 Ascot - Back Sextant @ 6.05/1
Pedigrees provide endless fascination. Take sire Sea The Stars - a horse who had an immaculate temperament and nothing fazed him. Plenty of his stock are like that too. And then we have Sextant.
This particular son of Sea The Stars clearly didn't read the script in his three runs last year. He played up prior to his debut at Nottingham when finishing second. In fact he was such a problem beforehand it was a bit of a surprise he ran.
Despite winning at Newbury on his second start (over 1m4f), he still looked green and missed the break, but his stamina won him the day quite easily in the end and he looked a really interesting prospect for the future following that victory. A defeat in a two-runner race followed however, but those sort of affairs are never ideal.
With all that, I still think he's worth a bet at around 5.04/1 for his handicap debut. He runs from 89 and given a proper test at a trip, he can improve again.
His trainer Sir Michael Stoute has his horses very forward and his stamina-laden pedigree will serve him extremely well as I can envisage the galloping uphill finish suiting him once he gets going.
He has also been gelded, so his behaviour could also improve.
Grey filly can continue her progression for Kirby
15:25 Ascot - Back Bella Regazza @ 4.507/2
Hughie Morrison's grey filly Bella Ragazza was very progressive last season with three victories, and she is the bet for the 15:25.
The 4yo will no doubt be chasing some black type further down the line, and her attitude will always stand her in good stead. She displayed real qualities in a fight last season.
She won twice at Goodwood last term and also scored at Newmarket. Indeed, that was a decent pot at HQ from 88 when she signed off last October, and she starts this year from her new mark of 96.
A bit of cut in the ground will suit, and she especially enjoys good to soft conditions. Adam Kirby (pictured above) is booked and I am hoping she can start where she left off.