Timeform's Matt Gardner heads to the third and final day of the Betfair Weekend at Ascot for Sunday's placepot, where small stakes and plenty of lines are advised...
Forget Eshtibaak’s most recent start, when not knocked about in a rough race at Kempton, and you are faced with a progressive four-year-old hailing from the John Gosden yard...
14:15 - A field of 12 newcomers is not the simplest of ways to kick off a placepot, so it's best to fire three arrows and hope that at least one of them hits the target. Moohaajim's sales price shot up from 40,000 gns as a yearling 200,000 gns when he was re-sold earlier this year, suggesting he looks the part physically, so he goes in alongside Shaishee, who cost $325,000 as a yearling and is bred to make the grade as a two-year-old. Mick Channon has had 20 juvenile winners so far in 2012 and Amralah, whose unraced dam is a half-sister to Oaks winner Reams of Verse and Eclipse hero Elmaamul, may be capable of adding to that tally.
14:50 - Tropical Beat and Fattsota are the pair to focus on in this leg, having finished third and fourth respectively in the same contest at Sandown just over two weeks ago. The former is not the most straightforward but appears to be going the right way, whilst the return to this trip is likely to help Fattsota, who was staying on well in the aforementioned race at Sandown.
15:25 - Yeeoow put up a couple of promising efforts earlier in the year but his 103 day absence is a concern, so it is Nassau Storm and Fast Finian that get the nod. The former has improved on his last two starts, finishing second at Yarmouth and Windsor, and is likely to give another good account, whilst Fast Finian ran respectably on his most recent start and could well stay on late to grab a place.
16:00 - Forget Eshtibaak's most recent start, when not knocked about in a rough race at Kempton, and you are faced with a progressive four-year-old hailing from the John Gosden yard, so he is of definite interest. Also making his way onto the ticket is Union Island, who has more on his plate if he is to follow-up his Newcastle win with success here, but his good attitude will count for plenty and he may present a decent opportunity for us to double up.
16:35 - This is a tricky contest, but selecting both Dalkova and Mama Quilla is the safest option to take in an attempt to progress. The former put up her best effort to date when second at Salisbury last time, having two next time out winners behind in third and fourth, and she will appreciate the return to a mile for all that the fitting of a tongue-tie is slightly disconcerting. Mama Quilla boasts an excellent pedigree, being closely related to Whipper and Divine Proportions, and better can be expected of her following her Windsor debut, where she was given a considerate introduction as she made some late headway.
17:05 - If the first five races were not difficult enough, we are now faced with an ultra-competitive 21-runenr sprint to finish off the placepot. Dungannon and Taajub are the pair to make the cut, the former boasting a good record at the track, enhanced with an excellent fifth in the Wokingham on his latest start, whilst Taajub has been in good form recently and is likely to be suited by the return to five furlongs.
14:15 - 2, 6, 13
14:50 - 8, 9
15:25 - 4, 10
16:00 - 2, 9
16:35 - 1, 8
17:05 - 6, 9
= 96 lines