A winner and a third got the week off to a profitable start for Alan and today he has two selections from Champions Day at Ascot...
"This extra distance will suit her, as for me the further she goes the better she looks"
Back Fleeting Each Way @ 11/2 in the 14:45 Ascot
Fleeting can fulfill her potential in the Fillies and Mares
14:45 Ascot - Fleeting
Today's best bet is Aidan O'Brien's beautiful filly Fleeting in the Fillies and Mares. I backed her each-way in the Oaks at a massive price and she came like a train from the very back to eventually finish third, giving me the impression that if she hadn't been checked at a crucial stage she would have won. I thought back then that she'd win a Group 1 this season and this looks her last chance to prove me right. For me, she's not fulfilled that potential this season.
Last time out was a lot more like the Fleeting I saw back on Oaks day and you'd have to put her down as a tad unlucky with the winner at Longchamp getting first run on her. This extra distance will suit her - the further she goes the better she looks, especially when given any cut in the ground. But she also needs to be ridden more forcefully than she has done in the past, which should give her every chance to fully show her ability.
The favourite in the race is John Gosden's Star Catcher who should ensure this is a well-run race and that should give Fleeting the target she needs to run at. So long as Donnacha O'Brien doesn't position her too far back he should be able to at least grab a place and better still beat Star Catcher for the first time this season. At the current price of 11/2 she looks an exceptionally good each-way bet to me.
The money has come for Amedeo Modigliani
16:40 Ascot - Amedeo Modigliani
The Galileo four-year-old colt Amedeo Modigliani runs in the concluding Balmoral Handicap and has replaced the long time favourite Lord North in the betting. Lord North was a good winner of the Cambridgeshire but he needed every inch of a stiff one mile one furlong to get on top there, that plus this ground and the extra weight is enough to tip the scales in the favour of the Aidan O'Brien runner. This horse is rated just 101 and is very lightly raced. His last two runs have been full of promise and on the last occasion he got no luck inside the final furlong and without it he would have gone close behind a good winner.
The ground has been a big issue on the run up to this meeting but conditions shouldn't be too much of a problem for Amedeo Modigliani, however it could more of an issue for Lord North and this mile should be ideal for the selection. He was available at 7/1 on Thursday and I thought that was too big, unfortunately that has proved to be the case a bit quicker than I thought. He is currently half that price, now available at around 7/2. While I think he wins I wouldn't want to be backing him any shorter than 7/2.