Our tipster casts his expert eye over the pick of the weekend’s meets
The Shergar Cup at Ascot is a format I find hard to have a bet on with many jockeys not used to the style of racing in Britain, never mind the track.
However, there could be a bit of value on this year’s card in the form of Willytheconqueror in the sprint at 1.05.
The William Muir-trained runner has been plying his trade in the highest class this season, including when far from disgraced in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He finished a close-up fourth in this race last year and off a one pound lower mark he has sound claims at running well at an each-way price under solid German jockey Alexander Pietsch.
The biggest danger to the best bet could be two-fold from veteran Blaine, who has been crying out for a return to a softer surface, and the 10-year-old and top-weight Mirza, another suited by the current conditions.
Later on at the Berkshire track, Northumberland Plate eighth Cosmelli could defy top weight in the slayer’s event at 1.40.
He ran below par over course distance last time out, but this is a slightly easier contest and he should get every assistance from the saddle from South African champion Ant Delpech.
Another top-weight, Manjaam, should go close in the mile-and-a-half event at 2.15, while Nobly Born will go close on his best form in the 6f sprint due off at 4.00.
Away from the Shergar Cup there is plenty of action up and down the country and the best wager at Newmarket could come in the 10f handicap at 3.05 where Thundering Blue may follow up his easy Epsom success.
Not surprisingly raised 7lbs for that smooth success, as long as there is some give in the ground at Headquarters it is hard to see him being troubled by the likes of Atkinson Grimshaw and Ay Ay.
The feature Sweet Solera Stakes at 3.40 looks well up to standard and there are some seriously talented juvenile fillies on show set to be suited by the step up to a seventh furlong.
For a bit of value I am going to go for the unbeaten Capla Temptress to complete the hat-trick at the main expense of the highly rated Godolphin filly Poetic Charm.
Of the two evening cards at Lingfield and Ayr the best bet of the night could be Scottische in the low grade mile handicap due off at 5.50 at the latter venue.
Later on at the west of Scotland track, Roman Times could go well off bottom-weight in the 6.50, while Gamesome can take advantage of a drop in class at 7.20.
Finally, on Sunday the feature race of the afternoon is the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh due off at 3.35.
Railway Stakes winner Beckford puts his unbeaten record on the line, but may not be able to repel the challenge of Romanised.
The latter could never get a strike in at the leaders in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot but is considered much better than that run.