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Preview 20 June 2008

4.20 Ascot Wolferton Listed Handicap Good to firm 10F

Horses to consider

Monte Alto (9/2) - Ran well on seasonal return when a close up 3rd to Capable guest in the Redcar seasonal feature handicap the Zetland Gold Cup, that performance was among the best efforts of today's runners if you take the weight he has to carry today and should be a good prep to go well in this handicap. Ran an ok race last season in the Newmarket Cambridgeshire and could well progress to be a group 3 performer before the season is out. Looked to be travelling strongly at Redcar before staying on a little one paced and that run will no doubt have brought him on further for this handicap today. The ground was on the quick side of good which it should be today on the round course at a track that the going can vary from one extreme to the other. This looks a perfect chance for him to continue his claim as a top handicapper and his performances on this type of surface suggest he should be involved in the finish with the stiffer finish being more then ideal for the build and size of this horse.

Supaseus (14/1) - Ran well at York in the handicap won by Emirates Skyline last season and even though it wasn't ran at a strong pace he still managed to see out the trip on his first start over 10 Furlongs. Has form on this track over shorter he has performed with much credit in all his runs here and went well at this meeting last term over possibly a trip short of his best. Could find improvement for this stiffer test but the pace of the race at York maybe helped him to see out the trip well and today's runners could well make it more of a test over this trip to see if he is a genuine contender over these trips for class 2 heritage handicaps through out the remainder of the season. Paired with a jockey who has a royal ascot winner to his name so far this season and Hugh Morrison is a trainer on the upgrade as well as his yard continues to turn out high-class horses.

Pinpoint (40/1) - As the outsider of the field Walter Swimburn horse shows the strength and depth in this handicap with his inclusion in this race and the revised weights has him as potentially ready to run a big race again. Has progressed to need this trip after showing that he was a high class miler and his run last term against Supaseus suggests that he could well be in at the weights here to land a touch for the yard. The quick ground shouldn't be a problem and any rain making the ground more good then fast will not hinder his chances either. Has a better strike rate over a mile but to be fair most of his ten furlong efforts have been in tough races of a high mark and with the handicapper giving him some respite in this race it would be no surprise to see him turn around the recent form with those who beat him on the all weather today.

Many Volumes (20/1) - Tipped this horse in the Newmarket handicap on 1000 guineas day and he trailed in last leaving the impression that he isn't a well handicapped horse as I first thought, however since that run the yard have picked up in their form and he has ran two very eye catching races at Great Leighs and Lingfield to Red Rocks which points to the fact he does have the class to win a handicap at this level. Better is expected today on ground that has quickened and Henry Cecil is due a Royal Ascot winner. Ted Durcan hasn't the best record on the horse but rode him well enough last time and 10 furlongs does look his trip with the added bonus of it being on a stiff track. Wouldn't surprise me if he stamped his class on this field and went on to run in group races but the Newmarket run just keeps going through the back on my mind and maybe dirt is the way forward for this son of Chester house.

Bushman (4/1) - Ryan Moore has finally landed a Royal Ascot race and will be looking to add to his tally today with the ride on the likely favourite for this race. A easy as you like winner at Sandown in the mud has him hiked up a unlucky 13lbs for that win, which has put him over the 9 stone mark and while he is quite unexposed, that hike from a class 3 handicap in which he ran away with of a slow race may have him being found out at this level against much more proven handicappers. The change in surface wont be no problem as his maiden form proves that quick ground shouldn't be a problem for this horse as many may think. His improvement may have come on soft ground but given the time he put up when breaking his maiden tag suggest he is more then capable of living up to it at this level. The 10 furlongs should be as far as he wants and the stiffer track may be a problem over this far, but he finished with his head in his chest at Sandown and even though it was a weak race in comparison to this race, he was impressive enough to take his chance in this race, even though favourites chance he may not have.

Watamu (20/1) - Wouldn't even think of suggesting this horse if it wasn't for the run at York over 12F last time as he shaped with much promise that suggested quick ground is just as ideal as his beloved Polly track surface. The drop back in trip shouldn't be a problem as he has shown plenty of pace over 10 Furlongs on the quick surface at Lingfield, and with this being a stiffer test of stamina he may come on again on turf over this ideal trip with the track. The race at York time wasn't impressive for the class of race as the winner stacked them up before kicking on, but Pevensey who finished in front of Watamu has ran well in this race of similar marks and with the drop back in a stronger run race Watamu could well run a very big race in this handicap despite being against better class of handicappers. Deserves respect from this mark given the ability he has shown on the Polly Track and his apparent liking under today's turf conditions.

Ratings - Monte Alto 121, Supaseus 120, Pinpoint, Watamu, Many Volumes, Pinpoint 119, Emirates Skyline, Soapy Danger, Championship Point 118, Under the rainbow 117, Charlie Farnsbarnes 116, illustrious Blue 115, Halicarnassus 112, Buccelletti 111.

Verdict  I would imagine that the draw can't effect this result today on the round course and would expect the winner to come from the above six in this handicap, After a more in depth look, the continued progression on Monte Alto, who was fancied just as much as Pipedreamer in last years Cambridgeshire, can continue today with Johnny Murtagh in the saddle. Bushman & Many Volumes are feared most of the rest.

Selection  3 pts Monte Alto @ 9/2 (5'sBF)

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