Outsider to note: Flowing Cape
Tomorrow's 20-runner, six-furlong handicap at Doncaster is a massively competitive affair, to the extent that many in-form horses are expected to trade generously.
Flowing Cape is one such example, with tissue prices suggesting the recent Catterick winner may be as big as 12/1. That might prove a little over-optimistic but, even if it were a few points wrong, the Cape Cross gelding would be a decent each-way option.
Having campaigned Flowing Cape over further for most of last year, Reg Hollinshead dropped him back to six furlongs in his last three runs, accruing two seconds and a win as a result. Off a 3lb higher mark here, this is another step up, but it could pay to follow the six-year-old now that he has recaptured some of his sparkle.
Salisbury 3.40 -- High Standing
Doncaster 3.25 -- Flowing Cape
Doncaster 4.30 -- Muqtarrib
Roscommon 5.25 -- Spill The Beans
823,000 The pounds sterling figure in winning bets that Betfred has reneged on paying following a legitimate Barney Curley coup last year.
72 Henry Cecil's incredible Royal Ascot count ahead of next week's festival.
1 Master Of Hounds' draw in tonight's Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the American Triple Crown. The Ballydoyle colt will need to beat the winners of both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness if he is to prevail.
Three things we
learned this week
1 Rite Of Passage is proving a tricky customer to keep right. Following last year's brilliant Ascot Gold Cup success, there was widespread disappointment when Dermot Weld was forced to rule his classy operator out of the Irish St Leger a few days before the race, stating at the time that he was "just not 100pc happy with him". Shortly after, Melbourne Cup plans were shelved, and yesterday Weld repeated, almost word for word, his September misgivings as he revealed that Rite Of Passage's eagerly anticipated clash with Fame And Glory would not now happen next week. Pity.
2 Henry Cecil thinks Frankel has got better. High-profile trainers rarely speak bullishly as a Group One draws closer, but Cecil wasn't hedging any bets this week, expressing a wish for his brilliant three-year-old to continue unbeaten throughout the campaign. He also hinted that more patient tactics than those that saw Frankel blitz the 2,000 Guineas field from the front would be employed in the St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot, so Tuesday's race should make compelling viewing.
3 Our cross-channel counterparts could be better. Racing in this country has its problems, but maybe none that run so deep as those in Britain. This week, a controversial deal to sell the Tote enterprise to Betfred was concluded, just days before further prize money cuts were announced as a result of a shrinking levy.
Quote of the week
"To be brutally honest, if Ryan Moore felt he was hampered by the two outsiders then maybe he should have been more aware of what's going on around him. And if he considers himself an unlucky loser he shouldn't, because the winner came from even further back." -- Trainer David Simcock unloads a few home truths in Ryan Moore's direction after the rider blamed interference for his Derby defeat on Carlton House.
Monday: Roscommon*, Carlisle, Sedgefield, Warwick*, Windsor*
Tuesday: Ascot, Brighton*, Newton Abbot*, Thirsk
Wednesday: Navan*, Ascot, Hamilton, Kempton* (AW), Ripon*, Worcester
Thursday: Leopardstown*, Ascot, Beverley*, Ffos Las*, Leicester*, Ripon, Warwick
Friday: Down Royal*, Limerick*, Ascot, Ayr*, Goodwood*, Musselburgh, Newmarket*, Redcar
Saturday: Down Royal, Ascot, Ayr, Haydock*, Lingfield*, Newmarket, Redcar
Sunday: Gowran Park, Hereford, Hexham, Pontefract