Simon Holt: Take ‘that at Ascot

Channel 4 Racing Commentator Simon Holt picks out his best bets for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

Muhadathat (far side) posted an eyecatching run at Goodwood


Medicean Man 1.15 Ascot 1pt win

Duretto 2.20 Ascot 1pt win

Muhadathat 4.05 Ascot 1pt win

Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is never the easiest day for tipping/punting as all six of the races are tight handicaps and there are many unfamiliar partnerships between horse and rider.

However, MEDICEAN MAN looks an ideal match for Frankie Dettori and the marrying of two Ascot course specialists could provide the answer to the opening Dash over five furlongs.

The evergreen 10-year-old is a three-time course winner and showed he retains plenty of ability at the Royal meeting in June when having the re-opposing Out Do two lengths behind him, the pair finishing sixth and seventh respectively behind Profitable.

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Medicean Man faced quite a stiff task, again here next time, when sixth once more behind some progressive handicap rivals after which he was eased 2lb in the ratings to 104. He was rated 112 at about this time last year.

Out Do (ridden by French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot) could be set to return to something like the form which saw him win three times last year.

Off the course from late July, 2015 to May, David O'Meara's gelding has been a bit in and out in four recent starts running below-par at Haydock and York but his seventh in the Kings Stand was better as was a more recent second to Naadirr (Strath Burn third) in a decent, albeit slowly-run, conditions race over six furlongs at Doncaster last time.

Joint top-weight Line Of Reason (Kenichi Ikezoe) is another to consider. He was running a good race in the King George Stakes at Goodwood last week only to get badly hampered against the far rail in the closing stages.

Later, Dettori has another strong chance in the Challenge Handicap aboard Ruwasi who has won his last two races and appears progressive.

However, both those victories came in relatively uncompetitive contests and it may pay to take a chance on DURETTO (Emma Jayne Wilson) returning to some form on a course he seems to like.

Andrew Balding's gelding was undoubtedly a bit disappointing last time in a hot-looking handicap at Haydock but finished second over this course and distance behind King Bolete earlier in the season and won, and dead-heated, here in two visits in 2015.

The closing Sprint (6f) can go to MUHADATHAT, another decent mount for Emma Jayne Wilson, after an eyecatching third at Glorious Goodwood.

The Showcasing filly didn't get the best of starts last week but devoured the ground inside the final furlong to be beaten less than a length behind Laughton in a 19-runner field.

Muhadathat's best form so far has come at the minimum distance of five furlongs but that strong-finishing effort and her pedigree (she is out of a Galileo half sister to winners who stayed further) suggests she could now be more effective over this extra yardage.

French import Saryshagann (Hayley Turner) is an interesting contender for the O'Meara team having finished sixth (in heavy ground) behind subsequent Commonwealth Cup winner Quiet Reflection in a Group Three at Chantilly back in April.

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