The hunt ends at Captain Ramius
Simon Holt tipped Captain Ramius when he won the Ayr Gold Cup at 33/1 and is backing him to go in again at Ascot.
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2pts win Captain Ramius in 15.35 Ascot at 6/1 (General).
Captain Ramius did us a good turn when winning last month's Ayr Gold Cup and is fancied to defy a 6lb penalty for that impressive victory in the seven-furlong Betfred Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday.
Once again, underfoot conditions are likely to be in the gelding's favour and, while Regal Parade - the runner-up in Scotland - now gets a pull at the weights, Kevin Ryan's charge won in decisive fashion and appears to be thriving for his successful trainer. He should also confirm the placings with sixth-placed Brae Hill.
The fast-run six furlongs at Ayr (which invariably suits seven-furlong horses) was clearly ideal for Captain Ramius whose best form previously had come at this distance, notably when a fine third on the 'wrong' side of the course in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket when the going was again testing.
It's very likely he has improved a good deal for that run - his first since competing in Dubai earlier in the year - and will be a fresher horse than most in this competitive line-up.
There are several 'Ascot specialists' in opposition - the likes of Don't Call Me, Imperial Guest and Field Of Dream - but Captain Bertie takes the eye lower in the weights as perhaps a serious threat to the selection.
Another who prefers plenty of cut in the ground, the Charles Hills-trained four-year-old finished just ahead of Captain Ramius in that Bunbury Cup (chasing home Bonnie Brae) and then had little luck in running at Glorious Goodwood subsequently.