Ascot Placepot: Friday July 20

Today's placepot comes from the opening day of the Betfair Weekend at Ascot

Tony McFadden heads to Ascot in an attempt to bring you another Placepot win following Natasha's success yesterday...

James Fanshawe’s gelding is a very useful handicapper given a strongly run six furlongs and, with that scenario looking assured, he should go extremely close.

14:10- Diaminda is bred to be speedy, being a half-sister to Golden Jubilee Stakes winner Fayr Jag, and she shaped with a great deal of potential on her debut at Doncaster. Having been sent off as a relatively unfancied outsider, Diaminda belied her starting price to produce an effort full of promise, travelling fluently before making headway in eye-catching fashion to finish second. Any improvement on that initial effort will surely see her go close, but in a field full of unexposed two-year-olds we will add another selection for a bit of insurance. Pearl Bell indicated that she too possessed ability when finishing second on debut. She hinted at signs of greenness on that occasion, hanging right under pressure before appearing rather idle, and improvement should be forthcoming.

14:45- The four runner race: a nightmare for the Placepot punter. The fact that it is a race confined to unexposed two-year-olds makes things even trickier. A cursory glance at the later races on the card indicate that things won't get much easier and if we were to include all four horses in our perm it could start getting very expensive. We first turn to the Richard Hannon second string, and likely outsider of the posse, Millers Wharf. He shaped with promise behind exciting stablemate Olympic Glory on debut, travelling well before making headway out wide, and the fact he is the only contender to enter the race not burdened by carrying a penalty can only boost his prospects. He is definitely not banker material in such a tricky contest, however, so Glass Office also goes in. David Simcock's colt progressed nicely from first to second start and with further improvement assured he merits inclusion.

15:20- Montaser enters this contest with an interesting profile, being the only three-year-old in the line-up and much less exposed than many of his rivals. Montaser was successful on his latest start, which came over a mile and a half, and he gave the firm impression that he could be seen to better effect once his stamina became tested over further. Spice Fair often shapes well during his races and did so again when sixth at Royal Ascot last time. There is a slight suspicion that he is tricky to win with, but that is no concern to us placepot players and a nice second or third placed finish will suit just fine.

15:55- We rely on Mac's Power as our sole selection in leg four. He brings plenty of solid form to this contest and although on first impressions he may have seemed disappointing in the Wokingham last time there were excuses for his poor showing. He simply did not get enough racing room at the crucial time and was never going to claw back the deficit having got going all too late. James Fanshawe's gelding is a very useful handicapper given a strongly run six furlongs and, with that scenario looking assured, he should go extremely close.

16:30- We first turn to My Kingdom to help us get through an extremely tricky leg. He may have frustrated his followers finishing runner-up on his last five outings, but another second placed finish would be much appreciated by us. Often noted travelling powerfully through his races, he drops back to six furlongs here and should be able to continue his good run of form. Jeremy Gask's Magic Secret is still open to plenty of improvement, having only had the three starts. A most impressive winner on debut, he was perhaps unlucky not to add to his tally at Haydock last time, travelling in eye-catching fashion but having no room to make his challenge. He joins My Kingdom in the perm.

17:05- John Gosden, so often the man to rely on this year, provides us with another banker selection as he saddles Fluctuate in the final leg of the placepot. A promising third in an unusually strong renewal of the Wood Ditton was followed up by an impressive six-length romp at Wolverhampton. It is impossible to gauge just how much improvement this exciting colt has left in him, but the obvious answer is that he has more than enough to take care of this field.

Selections:

2:10 3, 5
2:45 2, 4
3:20 4, 11
3:55 2
4:30 9, 16
5:05 3
= 16 lines

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