Saturday's free best bets from the Sporting Life team covers horse racing at Ascot, plus the German Formula One Grand Prix and the World Matchplay darts.
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Roger Charlton’s charge is fancied to make it a case of third time lucky in the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot. He finished sixth in 2017, comfortably winning the race on the unflavoured far side, and looked set to play a hand in the finish last season only to run into traffic problems while gathering a head of steam inside the final furlong.
He heads into this year’s renewal off the back of a thumping win at Newbury last week when he looked right back to his best and only has a three pounds penalty for that success. The forecast rain is in his favour too as he revels with some cut underfoot and a huge run is on the cards.
Rapid improver who accounted for Flashcard without fuss at Newmarket last time. He can uphold that form off 5lb worse terms and he proved that day he’s tactically versatile winning off a slow pace. This is a race full of horses on the upgrade but Motakhayyel shapes as though he could make the leap into a higher grade sometime soon and he’s taken to land another handicap on his way up the ladder.
KAESO looks well worth an each-way interest in the Moet & Chandon International returning to a course that clearly suits him well.
Nigel Tinkler's five-year-old got within a neck and a head of giving us a big-priced winner in the Victoria Cup here in May (won by subsequent Wokingham winner Cape Byron) having also performed well on two previous visits to Ascot.
Successful at Chester after his fine Victoria Cup effort, Kaeso returned to form again (following two lesser efforts at York) when scoring at Doncaster last Saturday and is now 3lb well in under a 3lb penalty compared to his future mark with Hollie Doyle again taking the mount. Moreover, Tinkler's string is in fine form recording seven winners in the last fortnight.
Goes well at the track and arrives here off the back of a creditable effort in a Group Three at Newcastle where the muddling place didn’t play to his strengths. Can run well in the Sky Bet Dash under top weight, especially as Darragh Keenan claims a valuable five pounds off.
Hulkenberg has a solid record at his home race, taking a points finish every time the event has been held since 2012. Highlights over the years include seventh place finishes in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Last year's fifth place was arguably his most impressive drive of the season and that result should give him confidence this weekend as he tries to arrest a campaign which has threatened to descend into mediocrity.
Hulkenberg would have rewarded those backing this bet at the last two German Grands Prix, and 12/1 looks a little long for a hat-trick.
Rob Cross, who fired in a 170 checkout en route to defeating Stephen Bunting, is by no means unbeatable and if Daryl Gurney can stay with him and force another long draining battle, then I reckon he can pip him on the line.
Put him in a double with Michael Smith to beat Glen Durrant for a tasty 9/2 double.
Smith hasn't shown his very best form yet this week in Blackpool but there's certainly been bursts of it during his wins over Jamie Hughes, Max Hopp and Mervyn King so expect him to raise it another notch against Durrant.