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GLEN SHIEL (1.55 Ascot, 1pt each-way 14/1)

GLEN SHIEL has improved no end since dropped in trip, taking his record over trips shy of 1m to 11372012112 (5-11) when finding only Dream Of Dreams too good in the Haydock Sprint Cup last month. Those figures improve to 212112 (3-6) over 6f only and he can reverse the form with the Haydock winner when they clash in the Qipco British Champion Sprint Stakes.

The Stoute runner again looks a dangerous rival on paper – his record since gelded reads 211 (2-3), with the defeat by a head – but he’s finished 13th of 14 and 16th of 17 in the last two renewals and make little appeal at around the 9-4 mark in a race that has thrown up its share of shocks.


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ONE MASTER (1.55 Ascot, 1pt each-way 5/1)

The wonderful ONE MASTER is a hard horse to beat in the autumn and she’s also worth an interest. Runner-up last year, she scored gamely in France on her latest outing, taking her record in September/October to 1111221 (5-7), with the latest defeat by a short head to Wichita on unsuitably quick ground at Doncaster.


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GOLD WAND (2.30 Ascot, 1pt win 20/1)

Golden Horn progeny improve with age/distance and had we backed all the sire 3yos since August 1st we would have won 33 of our 92 bets and made a profit of £33.10 to a £1 level stake at SP.

GOLD WAND was a 6-1 winner on this system when landing a 1m4f Listed contest on her penultimate start and she seemed unsuited by the drop back to 1m2f when a modest fifth at the Curragh last time. The track was not favouring her come-from-behind style that day – the winner and runner-up shared the lead throughout – and she did third best of those ridden patiently.


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THUNDERING NIGHTS (2.30 Ascot, 1pt win 8/1)

THUNDERING NIGHTS was ahead of Gold Wand in third at the Curragh last time, doing best of the closers, and might benefit from the step up to this 1m4f trip for the first time. She needed her first two juvenile outings last autumn but has since recorded figures of 12113 (3-5), with the runner-up effort by a short head.


BACK THUNDERING NIGHTS AND GET £40 IN FREE BETS HERE


REDROSEZORRO (3.10 Catterick, 1pt each-way 4/1)

Regular readers will be aware of my ‘younger’ veterans’ system for veterans’ handicap chases and the same theory holds true in veterans’ sprint handicaps – side with the youngest age group, in this case 6yos.

In the past ten years, 6yos who finished fourth or worse on their latest outing had an 18 from 100 record for a profit of £20.75 to a £1 level stake at SP. Eliminating those who were ridden patiently last time pushes the profit up to £35.75.

REDROSEZORRO tried to anticipate the start at Chester last time but missed the break as a result and trailed home last of 12. He’ll be happier back at this venue where his record over 6-7f reads 323111202211 (5-12).


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BELL ROCK (4.15 Ascot, 1pt each-way 14/1)

I have a ludicrously simple system for narrowing the field in the Balmoral Handicap – simply look for a horse who ran in the past three weeks who was ridden patiently last time. This system has found all six previous winners (from 59 runners) and backing them blind would have returned a profit of £13.00 to a £1 level stake at SP. We can improve the profit by ignoring 3yo qualifiers (0-7) and those aged six plus (0-21).

This leaves a shortlist of two. One is BELL ROCK who wears cheekpieces for the first time after his Cambridgeshire third to Majestic Dawn, a race not run to suit his closing style. His trainer had a winner in this headgear at Newcastle on Friday night and he proved his effectiveness over trip and track when sixth of 23 in the Royal Hunt Cup back in June.


BACK BELL ROCK AND GET £40 IN FREE BETS HERE


ALTERNATIVE FACT (4.15 Ascot, 1.5pts each-way 10/1)

Ed Dunlop has his string in fine form and was also among the winners at Newcastle on Friday. His ALTERNATIVE FACT was third of 22 in the Silver Hunt Cup at the Royal Meeting and will be happier on this softer going. Since gelded, his record on soft or heavy going stands at 1st, 1st, 2nd of 12 and 6th of 20 in a race not run to suit at York.


BACK ALTERNATIVE FACT AND GET £40 IN FREE BETS HERE


Today’s Best Bets

GLEN SHIEL (1.55 Ascot, 1pt each-way 14/1, paying five places)

ONE MASTER (1.55 Ascot, 1pt each-way 5/1 Betfair, Paddy Power paying five places)

GOLD WAND (2.30 Ascot, 1pt win 20/1 Betfair, Paddy Power)

THUNDERING NIGHTS (2.30 Ascot, 1pt win 8/1)

REDROSEZORRO (3.10 Catterick, 1pt each-way 4/1 Betfair, Paddy Power)

BELL ROCK (4.15 Ascot, 1pt each-way 14/1)

ALTERNATIVE FACT (4.15 Ascot, 1.5pts each-way 10/1)


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