ROBERT Winston rode the well-backed Librisa Breeze to victory in the Gigaset International Stakes (3.00pm) 12 months ago for owner Tony Bloom and they’ll be hoping lightning strikes twice at Ascot.
FLAMING SPEAR carries Bloom’s blue and white silks this time around and he comes into the race on the back of two wins on the all-weather.
Those two victories at Newcastle will have come as a relief to Bloom, as the five-year-old had once been touted as a potential Classic contender.
However, the manner in which his January win was achieved suggests his career is finally back on track, particularly with Kevin Ryan yard’s beginning to fire again.
He never looked like winning at Newcastle in January but ate up the synthetic surface in sensational style to get the better of Fort Bastion in the closing stages.
The son of Lope De Vega was forced to miss the Bunbury Cup last week due to the fast ground and will enjoy the rain-softened going at Ascot.
This valuable prize provides a perfect alternative and with room to manoeuvre off his current mark, I can’t resist an each-way play at 10/1 with 188BET.
Gary Moore’s Gossiping has been a revelation since joining the yard from Godolphin last October, winning five of his last eight races, and he could go close again.
Although he’s risen a whacking 40lbs since the turn of the year, the son of Dubawi continues to improve and is another who will enjoy the conditions.
Hopefully we can get the afternoon off to a flyer with DANCE DIVA in the opening Group Three Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes (1.50pm).
Richard Fahey’s filly extended her unbeaten run to three at Newmarket last time out and everything points towards her making that four.
The daughter of Mayson has improved for every start.
She got the better of stablemate Maggies Angel, third in the Weatherbys Super Sprint last weekend, while the sixth and seventh from her second start at Haydock have both come out and won.
The likely soft ground is also in her favour and I’d take her at 3/1 over 6/4 favourite Nyaleti.
The jolly’s second to Clemmie in the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes is strong form, and probably the best on offer, but she’s totally unproven on soft ground.
All three of her runs to date have come on good to firm and that has to be a worry with more rain on the way in Berkshire.
Another who gets the vote with the going in his favour is FIRE BRIGADE in the one-mile handicap (2.25pm).
He’s won twice with cut in the ground this term and is still progressing.
The three-year-old landed a good contest at Haydock last time out, beating Original Choice who has since come out to win and gain a mark of 92.
Fire Brigade is still off 84 having finished fifth at Yarmouth last time out in June, but the ground was faster than ideal that day and Michael Bell has since waited for the perfect opportunity to bring him back.
Juanito Chico would be the danger after missing out by a neck on the round course last time, but will need to settle better.
It also pays to look at what the bookies are putting up, with 188BET offering 10 per cent cashback on net losses at Ascot, Thirsk and Uttoxeter.
Dance Diva 1.50pm Ascot
Fire Brigade e/w 2.25pm Ascot
Flaming Spear e/w 3.00pm Ascot