#startracking Victoria Cup Ascot Saturday 4.15

Thursday May 5th 5.15pm

You just can’t beat a 29 runner C2 Heritage handicap over Ascot’s straight 7F!! I think I’ve found one that fits the bill but let’s see if I can talk myself out of it over the course of this preview! Need to ask the “Golden Questions”?

GOING? Looks like it is going to be on the quick side of good and as fast as anything they’ll have raced on this year.

TRIP? A straight Seven Furlongs is a fairly specialist trip and I want horses who have proven form at it. Ascot has a stiff finish and would prefer coming down from a mile than up from six!

DRAW? You just can’t worry about it! What you need is PACE nearby to give you a tow into the race.

CLASS? You need form at C2 level to be considered.

IN FORM? A yard having winners is preferred and a jockey you trust is essential.

Is the PRICE right? We’ll cover this later as it’s a crucial part of the jigsaw.

So what do the STATS say? They suggest you are looking for a 4/5yo hold up horse rated OR92-96 carrying 8st 5lbs-8st 13lbs who has won or been placed in a C2 handicap and is returned 8/1-16/1 SP.

Well I’m delighted to say my selection unsurprisingly ticks every damned box and he is Sir Michael Stoute’s GRAND INQUISITOR. He has won on Good to Firm, indeed he beat My Dream Boat, the G3 Gordon Richards winner and now OR117, over Sandown’s stiff 7F at level weights! His form over the trip is 136 and the 6 was first time out this season on ground too soft and given a ride by Ryan Moore that suggested this mark was being looked after! Last season he was 5th over Ascots mile beaten just four lengths by Portage when he was slowly away on softish ground. Sir Michael Stoute has had his best start to a season for yonks and is 11 from 47 on turf with 12 seconds! Ryan Moore goes to Lingfield for Coolmore and the Classic trials so Ted Durcan gets the ride and he’s already had three winners for the yard this season. Grand Inquisitor is drawn in stall 19 and with likely pacesetter Majestic Moon in 25 I am sure there will be plenty of speed on the stands side.

So Ted, it’s don’t miss the break, get into a rhythm then fast and late please!

I make GRAND INQUISITOR a three star*** each way selection, but when do you back him? He is currently a strong 12/1 ¼ 1,2,3,4 but I think Friday teatime or first thing Saturday morning 12/1 will still be available and there will be an extra place available!

Small conspiracy theory – He is owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Done, brother of Fred Done and guess which only major bookie go 10/1, two points shorter? Got it in one….BETFRED!!

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