Music to hit the high notes
Simon Holt previews Saturday's feature races at Ascot and he fancies Music Master in the Bengough Stakes.
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Saturday's card at Ascot looks tricky to say the least but MUSIC MASTER could be worth an interest in the John Guest Bengough Stakes.
Henry Candy's three-year-old was a creditable fifth here at the Royal meeting in June behind Gale Force Ten in the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes and, in his latest race at Goodwood over the same distance, travelled very strongly until weakening late on.
That run suggested that Music Master could be well suited by this drop to six furlongs and it may also be significant that he wears a tongue strap for the first time.
Several rivals are taking a step up in class - the likes of Intransigent, Tropics and Ladyship who have all been in good form - while solid sprinters like Jimmy Styles, Hoof It and Hitchens (amongst others) ensure this will be competitive.
One of the most progressive horses in the field has been Heeraat but William Haggas' colt carries a penalty here and beat only one home behind Gordon Lord Byron in the Haydock Park Sprint last time.
Later on, our old friend LOVING SPIRIT looks sure to be thereabouts in the Betfred 'Goals Galore' Challenge Cup Handicap though, whether he can get his head in front is another matter.
James Toller's consistent five-year-old loves this course and, on ground quicker than he prefers, was beaten under a length into third behind Galician in a similar event over the course and distance in July.
It has been nearly a year since Loving Spirit raced on his favoured softer surface when beaten only a head by Jack Dexter (again over course and distance) but, this time, the weather forecast looks promising for him.
However, he remains only a one-time winner in 20 starts and an each-way bet must be the most sensible option.
Redvers and Bertiewhittle are two other Ascot regulars but the biggest threats are likely to come from the progressive pair Ascription, taken out of last week's Cambridgeshire due to fast ground conditions, and Wentworth, the winner of a big handicap at Glorious Goodwood and fourth in the Britannia over a mile here in June.