Likely to be suited by step up in trip
Ascot 15:05: Inverness 0.5pt e/w 28/1
Inverness steps up to 1m4f for the first time today and he looks likely to be suited by that having been short of speed in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom.
He was well away from the stalls but was restrained to race at the back of the field. Shaken along three furlongs out, he was starting to make some headway when he was hampered a few times around two furlongs out and could only plug on late to finish sixth.
When winning a maiden over a mile at Goodwood as a two-year-old he took a long time to hit top gear and only got up late on and both that run and his run at Epsom suggest that 1m4f could bring improvement from him. The ground will also be ideal for him as he wants quick ground and he's likely to have a decent pace to close into.
It might be that this handicap is a bit too hot for him but I think he can be more competitive than his price suggests and any 25/1 or bigger appeals.
Thorough stayer suited by return to 2m4f
Ascot 16:20: Bubble Smart 1pt e/w 50/1
Bubble Smart ran very well when third in the Cadran last season on her first start over 2m4f and I think she can run well again now back up to that distance today.
In the Cadran, she initially raced at the front of the main pack before making ground to track breakaway leader Alkuin entering the home straight for the first time. They continued to race clear of the field until the main pack closed right up with five furlongs to go. Bubble Smart was briefly trapped behind Alkuin and lost a little ground before being pushed along entering the home straight. She raced on the inside rail away from the others and was nearly upsides Trueshan and Stradivarius with 1½ furlongs to go but she couldn't match the former late on and finished third.
That was a very good effort on her first try at the trip, particularly as I think the ground was softer than ideal for her, and I think she's looked a bit short of speed on both runs this season over just short of 2m.
Her latest run is a bit worrying as even allowing for the shorter trip it was a shade disappointing but I think the market has overlooked the quality of her sole run at this trip and she could get an ideal trip tracking the leaders on the inside. Any 25/1 or bigger appeals.
Removal of hood to bring a return to form
Ascot 18:10: Current Option 0.5pt e/w 66/1
Current Option hasn't been involved in the finish in his last two starts in handicaps but I think he might be capable of running better than his big price suggests today.
On both of those starts he wore a hood which comes off today. On the two previous occasions when running without a hood having worn one of his previous start, he won a handicap at Galway off 99 and ran quite well in a Group 3 at the Curragh when he raced keenly early on and made his effort too soon.
I thought he shaped with encouragement last time over a mile at the Curragh as he was still travelling strongly two furlongs out but had no clear path to make any headway and looked to not see out the trip.
He's not the easiest ride and it might be that he will travel well and not pick up late on but I think he should get a good trip and be able to settle tracking a strong pace towards the near side. Any 40/1 or bigger appeals.