Ascot Saturday Preview - 13/07/2019

1:45 - Eeh Bah Gum & Blue De Vega

The Betfred Heritage Handicap over five furlongs kicks off the Ascot card on Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile day, and the field is rather large so we have whittled it down to two selections.

Firstly, Eeh Bah Gum - although winless in 2019, has improved from his 2018 form where he did prevail five times, four of which in a row at the start of the season.

Up in class this year, his front-running efforts have seen him finish fourth in the Dash at Epsom, and more progression could be on the way on this stiffer track.

Secondly, Blue De Vega - who finished one place better in the Dash than Eeh Bah Gum last month, returns to Ascot for the first time since his course and distance victory twelve months ago on the King George card.

He poses an unbeaten record at the Berkshire venue and has been running well this year without a victory.

Both our selections could go close to ending that wait here.

2:15 - Kingbrook

Experience is certainly the name of the game in the Ruddy Novice Auction Stakes, and Kingbrook can capitalise with a run already under his belt against a few unraced rivals.

The son of Kingman showed some promise when finishing third at Haydock at the beginning of the month, and took a keen hold in the opening stages.

Hopefully should settle now under the returning Joe Fanning, for trainer Mark Johnston who is in flying form.

This juvenile also holds a Derby entry for next year, so clearly connections believe he can go on and compete at the top level.

2:50 - Fabulist

John Gosden recruits Kerrin McEvoy to ride the three-year-old Fabulist in the Trant Engineering Fillies Handicap, who was a very good winner at Newmarket just two weeks ago.

The handicapper could have been much tougher on him given the way he stretched away, bouncing back and improving from his disappointment outing at Newbury in April.

The break did him well, and looks another well-bred individual in this field on his respective handicap debut.

3:25 - Celestial Force

Right at the foot of the weights of the Fresh Air Helicopters Handicap sits Celestial Force - trained by Tom Dascombe, who will be looking to follow up his mile-and-a-half victory at Beverley at the end of June.

The four-year-old son of Sea The Stars retains an attractive mark after a 3lb rise from that back-to-form victory - which was his first for eighteen months.

Upped in trip for the first time to 1m6f; a distance he may very well stay for owner John Dancer, more well known to own the filly Laurens.

4:00 - Zaaki

The feature race at Ascot is the Group Two Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes, where Zaaki can land a hat-trick of domestic victories for the in-form Sir Michael Stoute.

Successful here on May 1 in the Paradise Stakes, the four-year-old took his campaign to a different and better level when taking the Group Three Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day.

Still has the potential to provide plenty more, and has previously finished a good third here at the royal meeting in the Hampton Court Stakes of 2018.

Kerrin McEvoy on board for another of our selections, and Zaaki has the benefit of stall one to assist his chances.

4:35 - Faylaq

Faylaq has looked very impressive on his last two appearances, and is ready for the rise in class for the Woodford Reserve Handicap over a mile-and-a-half.

Representing the colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum, Faylaq scored in very taking fashion at Ripon just a month ago of which he cruised home.

The William Haggas three-year-old won at even shorter odds at Newmarket on his next start a week later, and seems to be relishing this trip of late.

This contest is much harder, but he has an excellent pedigree and he may well rise to the task.

5:10 - Firmdecisions

The nine-year-old Firmdecisions should not be overlooked in Ascot's final contest on Summer Mile day - the GI Events UK Handicap over the straight seven furlongs.

This near veteran is not always easy to predict, but has raised his confidence levels with two six furlongs victories from his last two starts.

Goes back up in trip over a distance he scored over twice last term, so looks an obvious choice to start with, in the hands of a promising claimer Izzy Clifton.

Certainly in with a shout.