THE Britannia Handicap (5.00pm) is always one of the toughest battles of the entire week and the bookies have had the better of the argument recently.
Fast Or Free was a winning favourite for William Haggas and Ryan Moore in 2012, but there have been four winners priced 20/1 or bigger in the past eight years.
This has been the target for Brian Meehan’s Mutarakez all season and he won the same Haydock handicap that 2011 Britannia winner took en route to Ascot success.
He could well be the proverbial Group horse in a handicap, yet he’s now rated 101 and that is a difficult mark to win such a competitive race off.
Sir Michael Stoute won this with Mostashaar in 2005 and I have a feeling he’s been thinking about the race for CAPEL PATH for quite a long time.
The Queen’s Street Cry colt won the final start of his juvenile season at Newcastle back in October and he has run two eyecatching races so far this term.
His last appearance at this course was particularly intriguing as he was doing all his best work at the finish over seven furlongs.
The step up to a mile is exactly what he needs and, even though Moore isn’t in the plate, Graham Lee is a more than capable deputy. His draw in stall 23 should be fine, so snap up the 8/1 with Betway and Paddy Power.
There are obviously plenty of others with a chance, but the one I’m going to support each-way is Andrew Balding’s MAKE IT UP at 14/1 with Unibet.
Exactly the same connections triumphed in this very race 12 months ago with Born In Bombay. Make It Up was a decent second at Epsom last time and the son of Halling is another who will appreciate the mile.
There are a number of last-time out winners in the field, while Moore is on War Envoy who was contesting Group One races last season.
CAPEL PATH e/w 5.00pm Ascot
MAKE IT UP e/w 5.00pm Ascot