RACING and food take centre stage at Ascot tomorrow with the course’s two-day Italian Tourist Board Festival of Food and Wine Weekend – and the prosecco corks will be popping if punters can find a winner or two.
The big betting race of the day is the Cunard Handicap (2.45pm), which Ripp Orf won 12 months ago.
David Elsworth’s five-year-old is back to defend his crown off only a pound higher mark, and with form figures over course and distance of 131254, it is easy to see why he has been well-backed this week.
He surely won’t be far away again, although he just doesn’t represent much value at 11/2.
SPANISH CITY has been one of my cliff horses over the past couple of years, but he got his head in front at Yarmouth last month and I’m hoping that will be the confidence booster he needs.
He has some very good form at Ascot, including a fourth in this race last year, and it’s interesting that Roger Varian is using 7lb claimer Marco Ghiani.
Claiming jockeys have won four of the last five renewals of this contest and Spanish City looks a good each-way bet at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
I also like the look of ARBALET, whose two runs over course and distance on good-to-firm ground have been a fifth in last year’s Jersey Stakes and a second in the International Handicap a month later.
I tipped him for the International in July but the ground went against him and he was then dropped a further 4lbs after a disappointing effort over a mile at York last month.
He is now back on a very tempting mark, has conditions to suit and is a nice each-way price at 16/1 with Coral.
Spanish City e/w 2.45pm Ascot
Arbalet e/w 2.45pm Ascot