Ascot Racing Tips: Nugget can topple Major in Balmoral

Timeform's Andrew Asquith has picked out three bets on Champions Day at Ascot

Timeform's Andrew Asquith recommends a Nap, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Ascot on Saturday.

"The straight mile at Ascot will be tailormade for him..."

Andrew Asquith on Nugget

NAP: Nugget has the tools for Balmoral test

Nugget - 16:30 Ascot

All eyes will be on Sunray Major in the Balmoral as he is well in under a 6 lb penalty and will surely develop into a pattern-class performer next season. However, odds of 9/4 in a 20-runner handicap don't make much appeal, and I'd much rather play another progressive sort in Nugget at bigger odds.

Nugget can boast some strong form this year, and there was plenty to like about his most recent win at Hayodock which came after a four-month break. He travelled supremely well throughout that contest and had much more in hand than the neck margin suggests, only ever doing what was required once hitting the front. The straight mile at Ascot will be tailormade for him and expect him to be arriving fast and late under Ryan Moore.

NEXT BEST: Rohaan a bet back at Ascot

Rohaan - 14:00 Ascot

This looks a competitive heat but Rohaan should have everything in his favour and is expected to resume winning ways back at Ascot. He was a surprise winner of the Pavilion Stakes over course and distance earlier in the year but he proved that success no fluke when following up in the Sandy Lane at Haydock on his next start.

It was his performance in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot - again over course and distance - which marked him out as a bona-fide Group 1 performer, though, sluicing through the field to defy a BHA mark of 112 with plenty in hand. He hasn't had ideal conditions on his last three starts, but very much caught the eye over five furlongs at the Curragh last time, doing especially well to finish as close as he did having lost ground at the start. This test will suit much more and a big run is expected.

EACH WAY: Back Baron to get a place

Baron Samedi - 13:25 Ascot

Trueshan is a short-priced favourite and it is little surprise given he beat Stradivarius comfortably in the Prix du Cadran last time and bolted up in this race 12 months ago. That was a hard enough race in France just two weeks ago, though, and the drying ground isn't in his favour, either.

Therefore, it could be worth backing Baron Samedi to hit the frame for the Joseph O'Brien team. He progressed out of all recognition after winning his first race in August last year, going on to complete a remarkable seven-timer in the Belmont Gold Cup in June. He wasn't suited by a drop back to a mile and a half on his next start but ran a cracker to finish third in the Irish St Leger last time, just left with too much to do in comparison to the two that finished in front of him. Baron Samedi is unexposed at this trip and is expected to put it up to Trueshan et al.

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