With an agonising defeat in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on his record, BEAT THE BANK (Ascot, 4.00) has proved himself the class act in this field and is taken to repeat his hard-fought victory in last year’s renewal.
The selection rarely achieves success without giving his supporters palpitations, but he is a tough rival to pass when in the mood and, with no Lord Glitters in opposition, he can see off the progressive Zaaki who is clearly the chief threat even if stall one makes life a little awkward.
Beat The Bank 2pt win @ 11-4
Mountain Angel and Stylehunter will have their supporters in this typically competitive renewal of the John Smith's Cup, but both are priced accordingly so the likes of PIVOINE and MY LORD AND MASTER (York, 3.50) make some appeal with their effectiveness at the track assured.
Pivoine hasn’t set the world alight this season, however he has twice run behind Group 1 winner Crystal Ocean over a mile-and-a-half without being disgraced and a truly-run 10-furlong handicap will suit.
My Lord And Master ran well over course and distance under today’s talented rider last autumn and is seriously considered as a back-up bet. Although most of his best efforts have come on easier ground, his pedigree suggests the conditions on the Knavesmire should be fine and he is worth supporting at a price, especially with some firms offering enhanced place terms.
Pivoine 1/2pt ew (5 places) @ 20-1
My Lord And Master 1/2pt ew (5 places) @ 16-1
Winning this race 12 months ago took his course stats to an impressive 2521 and he should be a different proposition tackling a faster surface and a bigger field, while Shane Kelly rode him to land a hot Ascot handicap last season.
SPANISH CITY, runner-up in last year’s renewal, is also worth backing, albeit at a much shorter price than Burnt Sugar. The former loves a strong gallop and the prospect of a pace collapse and it is arguably no coincidence he has appeared at his best when allowed to 'ghost' late into a race like today's event.
Burnt Sugar 1pt ew @ 12-1
Spanish City 1pt ew @ 6-1
The seven-year-old, who has one victory to his name, also holds an alternative future entry at Uttoxeter on Wednesday, which suggests connections have their new acquisition ready to go on Sunday following a break.
Black Anthem 1pt win
It is unfair to knock the old boy who has won nine times and is 2-4 here but the visor now joins the tongue-tie and that hopefully will be the catalyst for a return to winning ways in a race where his comfortably clear on my speed figures.
Theflyingportrait 1pt win
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