SPACE BLUES (Ascot, 3.05) has proved himself a class act since dropping in trip to seven furlongs and can again utilise his potent turn of foot here.
Admittedly, the selection only won by a neck at Epsom last time, but he didn’t appear in love with the track that day and the margin of victory arguably didn’t represent his superiority. His sectional times were again explosive and he may well confirm placings with runner-up Urban Icon who also emerged with plenty of credit and boasts a solid frame chance.
Space Blues 2pt win @ 11-4
Urban Icon 1/2pt ew @ 8-1
The return of 2018 Derby winner Masar adds further glamour to an intriguing renewal, but this will be a tough ask for the Epsom hero with Coronation Stakes winner Defoe in opposition alongside Yorkshire Cup runner-up Southern France and MIRAGE DANCER (Ascot, 3.40), whose trainer has made this race his own in the last decade.
With six victories from the last 10 runnings, Sir Michael Stoute is a trainer to fear and the selection looks a typical slow burner for the Newmarket maestro and it is good to see connections keeping faith with Pat Dobbs who is 2-2 aboard the five-year-old.
A rather headstrong and exuberant individual in his early years, Mirage Dancer has matured and developed like many Stoute middle-distance performers and he is likely to be positioned handily by Dobbs which would appear a wise tactic given it has been difficult to make ground on the round track this week.
Mirage Dancer 1pt ew @ 11-2
Having the speed to win over six furlongs and the stamina for a seventh furlong is a very useful attribute in this race given the pace that is usually generated and, with that in mind, CAPE BYRON (Ascot, 5.00) is the pick.
The form of his Victoria Cup win was given a boost earlier this week by prominent runs for Raising Sand and Kynren in the Hunt Cup and there is little doubt a strongly-run affair at today’s trip should suit the selection perfectly. He is 3-7 on a straight track and his course stats read 10271.
TIS MARVELLOUS was fourth, beaten a length, in this last year when isolated on the far side. He was good enough to finish 3l adrift of star sprinter Invincible Army earlier this season and could outrun his odds so is worth a saver with a number of firms paying six places.
Cape Byron 1pt ew @ 6-1
Tis Marvellous 1/2pt ew @ 22-1
CAPTAIN DION (Pontefract, 5.40) is 3-4 here (losing run second beaten a neck), with the latest victory over course and distance on his penultimate start when he bolted up by five lengths. An astonishing 30lb below his last win at the track, he was well backed and took the race apart by making all.
To prove that was no fluke, Captain Dion followed up at Chelmsford on Wednesday over a furlong further, again making all but this time eased down in the final furlong.
He is moving back up the weights but returns to his favourite track on Sunday and with Ivan Furtdao having found the key to the resurgent six-year-old, can make it a quick-fire hat-trick in division one of the 6f sprint.
Captain Dion 2pts win
INEXES (Pontefract, 6.10) can make it a double for Furtado by winning division two of the above race.
Another course and distance winner, the seven-year-old looked to be returning to form in a better race at Hamilton 11 days ago when chasing home an odds on, all-the-way winner.
It took five outings for Captain Dion to come good for Ivan Furtado - this is Inexes’s fifth since joining the yard in April.
Inexes 1pt ew
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