Ascot Placepot: Friday July 27

Ascot is the venue for today's placepot

Tony McFadden heads to Ascot in an attempt to land the placepot...

Dark Ranger entered the Ascot contest with a sequence of placed efforts next to his name and he can regain his reputation as a friend of the Placepot punter.

14:20- Fleeting Smile shaped well when finishing second to subsequent Royal Ascot winner Newfangled on debut. She is sure to be well supported in light of that effort, but in a race which contains a couple of well-bred newcomers, as well as others who have hinted at promise, it may pay to take her on for Placepot purposes as she is sure to be carrying a disproportionate amount of units. Summer Dream caught the eye in behind Fleeting Smile on debut, travelling noticeably well before finishing to good effect under a hands-and-heels ride. Her subsequent effort can be forgiven as she was badly hampered, having once again moved menacingly into the race. She doesn't have too much to find with the likely favourite and as she is likely to be carrying far fewer units it is worth plumping for Marco Botti's filly. We will add another string to our bow in the shape of John Gosden's debutant Close At Hand. Given the good form of the yard, allied with the classy pedigree she boasts, it would be a mistake to dismiss Close At Hand, so she makes the perm.

14:55- Front Page News came on plenty for her debut effort when breaking the maiden tag at Windsor last time. The way she finished on that occasion left the firm impression that there was plenty of improvement still to come, and Robert Eddery's filly is of definite interest making her nursery bow. Echion had performed well in maidens and she doesn't appear to have been given a prohibitive handicap mark. Although disappointing on her nursery debut at Newmarket last time, she has a fairly solid profile overall and should be capable of making the frame.

15:30- Beatrice Aurore enters the race with extremely strong claims on form and it would be no surprise were she to take full advantage of the drop to listed class. However, the form of the yard is a massive worry; so substantial, in fact, that we will take on Beatrice Aurore. Moone's My Name was successful last time out and the fact she enters this contest in good heart is a positive for us Placepot punters. With doubts surrounding the likelihood of her rivals running to form, Moone's My Name should be capable of bagging at least a place. Thistle Bird, who was also victorious last time, seemed to benefit from the application of a hood and should produce another bold bid, despite having to carry a penalty.

16:05- Dark Ranger was perhaps slightly disappointing at Royal Ascot last time, but there is a possibility that the extreme trip tested him, and, dropped back down to two miles, he can bounce back to form. Dark Ranger entered the Ascot contest with a sequence of placed efforts next to his name and he can regain his reputation as a friend of the Placepot punter. Western Prize is lightly-raced for a four-year-old and may still have some untapped potential. He justified strong market support at Salisbury last time and the step up to two miles can see Ralph Beckett's charge make further improvement.

16:40- Haylaman can boast some good form in competitive handicaps, his victory at Newmarket last year being a particularly good case in point. He has moved to the David Simcock yard this year and his one effort so far, when fifth behind the progressive Gatewood at Epsom, hinted that the move could reap positive rewards. He is entitled to come on for that seasonal reappearance and appeals as a really solid place proposition, especially with the dead-eight set to go to post at the time of writing.

17:15- A tricky handicap to round off proceedings and there are no bankers for us here. Cut Across is still very much unexposed having had only the two starts so far. He couldn't quite follow up his debut win on his handicap debut last time, but he did shape well and gave the impression that there would be more to come as he gained experience. Larwood hails from a yard in good form, and Henry Candy's representative is taken to grab a place. He disappointed last time, but the promise of his prior victory was such that it is worth giving him another chance to confirm the good impression he made on that seasonal reappearance.

14:20 1, 10
14:55 7, 9
15:30 1, 4
16:05 4, 5
16:40 4
17:15 9, 12
= 32 lines

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