Varian to sign off with Wokingham winner
16:10 Ascot - Back Spanish City @ 14.5
Spanish City is a horse I've followed and backed for a while now, although I seem to remember the defeats more than the wins. The Bunbury Cup of 2018 springs to mind.
However, my old friend has lured me in again at around 14.5 for Saturday's Wokingham. He might not win as often as his talent deserves, but it's hard to fault and knock his consistency as he holds him form very well - which is why I am not worried about a near personal best required off 98 to win this. He's the type that does run to his figure on a consistent basis.
Clearly the Varian team are in good nick for the meeting, and it could be best to catch this horse first time out - as his record off a break of 200+ days reads 1412.
Big fields suit him with his smooth travelling style from off the pace and as a genuine 7f horse, the drop down to 6f at Ascot should be ideal. I'll give him another chance.
Visir looks a grand bet for Queen Alexandra marathon
16:40 Ascot - Back The Grand Visir @ 5.04/1
The longest race of the meeting is where I am heading for my second bet on day five, and this wacky race over nearly 2m6f has a real mixed bag of contenders. Some have absolutely no chance on ratings, so with the field narrowed down somewhat, we should get a good run for our money with the Ian Williams-trained The Grand Visir.
He provided Williams with his first-ever Royal Ascot winner last term when landing the 2m4f race, and he will have no problem with the extra yardage. He travels quite well for a stayer too and has a touch of class for this sort of race.
Any further rain could be a plus for the son of Frankel, as it was good to soft 12 months ago and he seemed to enjoy it. But he has a good strike rate on the level and as a 6yo, he isn't totally exposed in this sphere.
Qaader to give Crowley another winner
13:50 Ascot - Qaader
Qaader can give jockey Jim Crowley another winner at the meeting.
This Night Of Thunder colt was most impressive on debut when beating Running Rock at Newbury.
He made most of the running and pulled well clear of his rivals to with plenty in hand. He displayed signs of inexperience by swerving left in the closing stages, but was value for more than the winning margin.
Obviously this is much tougher, but significant improvement is expected from this well related individual. I think he is sitting on a big effort, and is attractively priced at 6.611/2 on the exchange.
Admiral Nelson is the current favourite at 3.8514/5 on the exchange. He won a Curragh maiden easily earlier this month, and is another big improver. His price is a little thin in such an open looking race.
One Master to rule
15:35 Ascot - One Master
One Master should go close in this outstanding Group 1 sprint.
This dual Group 1 winning mare finished second to Donjuan Triumphant in the British Champions Sprint over this course last October. Despite meeting interference, she produced a strong run inside the final furlong but could not get to grips with the winner.
She has rock solid credentials coming in to this race, and will handle the underfoot conditions. She is a tough mare and will not go down without a fight. At present she is trading at 5.95/1 on the exchange.
The progressive Sceptical heads the market at 4.3100/30 on the exchange. He is unbeaten this term and hacked up in a Listed race at Naas earlier this month. Looks way too short against these battle hardened sprinters.
Blue Mist will relish this trip
Back Blue Mist @ 6/1 in the 12:40 Ascot
Roger Charlton's Blue Mist could get the day off to a flyer in the opener on the final day of Royal Ascot in the Silver Wokingham Handicap over six furlongs. On this ground the winner has to stay the six well and this fellow has been doing most of his running over seven or further.
But, it was the way he travelled at Newbury last time when second just over a week ago on ground with a bit of cut in it that suggests to me that this strongly run and stiff six will be ideal. He travelled like a dream into the race and it was only the fact that Ryan Moore had poached a few lengths early on a decent winner who wasn't stopping, that meant Blue Mist had to settle for second. With that pipe-opener under his belt and the stable being in form I think he's the one to beat in this.
Gulliver should travel well in the Wokingham
Back Gulliver Each-Way @ 20/1 in the 16:10 Ascot
In the Wokingham itself David O'Meara's Gulliver is currently 20-1 on the Sportsbook where five places are being paid. I suggest you grab that as quick as you can and back him each-way. His record on soft ground reads one win and one place from four starts, he's been placed at the track before on his only start here, he's won at this time of year and importantly he stays seven furlongs. This stamina will be a major advantage in this strongly run race over a stiff six as you need something to be strong inside the last furlong to win here.
The booking of Ryan Moore for a yard he's not known to get plenty of rides from really takes the eye and he's really well handicapped given he's only 2lb higher than when winning a nice handicap at York last season and is 2lb lower than his highest winning all weather mark. All-in-all he has a strong profile and that 20-1 could well be shorter come race time.
Check out Betfair's video guide to Ascot, in association with Timeform...