Simon Holt has three best bets on Shergar Cup day at Ascot including Bless Him under Joao 'the Magic Man' Moreira.
IT'S tight handicaps all the way at Ascot's Shergar Cup meeting on Saturday, but BLESS HIM is fancied to return in glory to the scene of his finest victory in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile.
David Simcock's four-year-old, who will receive the not inconsiderable assistance of Joao 'the Magic Man' Moreira, took last season's Britannia Handicap on the straight mile at the Royal meeting and, after one or two hiccups, has signalled a return to top form in his last two starts.
Ninth in the Royal Hunt Cup in June when probably not ideally drawn, Bless Him then ran on strongly into third behind the talented Wadilsafa and subsequent winner Get Knotted at York when, like in many races at the Knavesmire, it was hard to come from behind.
Dropped 2lb after that effort, he should go close returned to Ascot (albeit racing on the round mile this time) in a race that looks a little less competitive.
The danger could be Poet's Society who, despite having his 23rd race of the season, put up an excellent effort under Frankie Dettori in last week's Golden Mile at Goodwood failing by half a length to hold off Seniority in a tight finish. Pat Cosgrave takes the ride this time.
Earlier, Hayley Turner could be on the mark aboard BYRON FLYER, one of three runners for trainer Ian Williams, in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap.
The seven-year-old was second in this race last year to the smart Euchen Glen off a 3lb lower mark and has run some solid races since finishing seventh in the Cesarewitch,and second to The Grand Visir (Euchen Glen third) at Haydock in May.
Byron Flyer can be forgiven his last two runs at Newmarket (hampered) and on the all-weather at Newcastle and will go close if repeating his effort here 12 months ago.
Williams also runs Saunter, who tries two miles for the first time after a win in France recently, and Stars Over The Sea who was beaten a long way on his belated reappearance at Newbury.
Cleonte, a creditable sixth behind Stratum in a valuable handicap at the latter venue last time, could prove a danger despite failing to win since August 2016 when trained across the Channel by Andre Fabre.
Trainer and former Champion Jockey Richard Hughes has been amongst the winners this week and can continue the good work with GEORGE OF HEARTS in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint.
Ninth in the Britannia and seventh to Crack On Crack On over a mile here in his last two starts, the son of Kendargent now drops back in trip to six furlongs.
It could well be a master-stroke as George Of Hearts usually travels well and doesn't look short of pace while this is only a furlong less than his half length second to Society Power here, with the useful Stormbringer third, over seven furlongs here in May.
Considering Society Power is now rated 108 and Stormbringer 105, the selection appears very handily treated off 91 and remains fairly unexposed.
Preview posted at 1340 on 10/08/2018