LOOK down the home straight at Ascot this afternoon and you’ll see the air wobble.
By the time they line up for the King Edward VII Stakes (5:35pm), temperatures will be well into the thirties and the ground will be rattling quick.
That race looks a toss-up between the top two in the betting, marginal 15/8 favourite Changingoftheguard and 9/4 challenger OTTOMAN FLEET, and I’m just going to side with the latter.
He’s less exposed than Aidan O’Brien’s colt and did remarkably well to get his head in front at Newmarket last time having stumbled badly at the start.
The son of Sea The Stars hit the line strongly that day and looks sure to appreciate the step up in trip.
Changingoftheguard was fifth in the Derby and a comprehensive winner of the Chester Vase, so undoubtedly sets the standard, but there remains a bit of value in the 9/4 about Ottoman Fleet.
With a roll of the dice in the closing Palace Of Holyrood Stakes (6:10pm), I hope it can land on LADIES CHURCH or LATIN LOVER.
Both have put up some of their best performances over the minimum trip on fast ground, and both remain fairly handicapped.
Ladies Church, available at around 9/1, entered the tracker after an eye-catching second at Cork last time out.
She came from a long way back to be narrowly denied by a nose, and reappears here of an unchanged mark of 98.
Latin Lover’s mark of 83 also looks workable despite a five-pound rise for her last-start win at Kempton just nine days ago.
She stays six furlongs well, which is always a bonus over Ascot’s stiff five, and looks an improving horse with Hayley Turner brought in for the ride.
Ottoman Fleet Ascot 5:35pm
Ladies Church e/w Ascot 6:10pm
Latin Lover e/w Ascot 6:10pm