Ascot Placepot: Saturday July 27

Matt Gardner heads to Ascot on Saturday.

Timeform's Matt Gardner targets Ascot for Saturday's attempt at the Placepot...

"14 go to post for what looks a pretty competitive handicap but there is something of a standout contender in the shape of Henry Candy's Cape Peron..."

14:05 - The David Brown-trained Wind Fire ran a cracker against the colts in the Norfolk Stakes, beaten just over a length into third, and with that form having worked out well since (the three immediately behind her have all won since) she should take plenty of beating in this Group 3 back against her own sex. We're going to attempt to double up early doors with Jim Bolger's Chroussa, who is taking a marked step up in class after contesting two maidens to date. However, she has finished second to a couple of decent sorts in Perhaps and Tapestry and it is always worth noting when her astute trainer throws one of his disciples in at the deep end. 

14:40 - 14 go to post for what looks a pretty competitive handicap but there is something of a standout contender in the shape of Henry Candy's Cape Peron. The three-year-old looked a pattern performer in the making when winning at Doncaster on his penultimate start and he shaped very well in defeat when fifth in the Britannia last time, catching the eye with the pure ease with which he made headway despite being isolated on the near side away from the principles. He looks some way ahead of his handicap mark and, though it is a risk relying upon him solely, he should take this on his way to greater things. 

15:15 - Your guess is as good as mine in the Betfair International Stakes, which is likely to develop into something of a cavalry charge. As we have banked on Cape Peron and have another banker lined up in the King George we can afford to take four, starting with the William Haggas-trained Queensberry Rules who fared best of those held up when finishing third in the Britannia last time. The slight drop in trip is of little concern and he almost certainly remains capable of better, so appeals as being a fair starting point. 

Hawkeyethenoo is burdened with top-weight but has shown in the past that he can be competitive off this sort of mark and is the type to save his best for races of this ilk, so he is also included alongside Head Of Steam, whose Goodwood win looks pretty solid and he is likely to be suited by a return to seven furlongs having shaped well enough over a mile at Salisbury last time. Common Touch is likely to be an outsider but don't let that put you off as he signalled that a return to form was imminent at Newmarket last time, will be suited by a return to this trip and has slipped to a workable mark. 

15:50 - Ektihaam, Novellist, Hillstar and Trading Leather all have to be respected but it is impossible to oppose Cirrus Des Aigles in the King George. Forget his run at Saint-Cloud last time, as a quick look at his record shows that he has regularly needed the run after an absence, and if he is anywhere near his best he will take the world of beating.

16:25 - Jockeys not horses is often my policy in lady amateur races but fortunately we have the combination of the two with Serena Brotherton and Graphic. Brotherton is arguably the most accomplished female amateur riding at present and her mount left the strong impression that his turn was near when finishing third over C&D on his most recent outing. We're also going to take See The Storm who will be ridden by Jane Mangan, another capable pilot, and comes here in decent form having won two of his four outings this term. 

17:00 - Emirates Flyer, who finished fifth in the Norfolk when last seen, will probably take plenty of beating in the final leg, particularly with the step up to seven furlongs likely to bring about further improvement, so he is a fairly obvious starting point. As in the first leg we have a decent opportunity of doubling up, this time with the Richard Hannon-trained Washaar who improved on his debut win when third in the Superlative Stakes. He may need further in time but will be staying on at the finish and could nick second. 

14:05 - 2, 10
14:40 - 1
15:15 - 1, 16, 22, 26
15:50 - 1
16:25 - 6, 12
17:00 - 2, 6
= 32 lines

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