ITV Racing Preview - 13/07/2019

13:45 - The Betfred Heritage Handicap Stakes

The Betfred Heritage Handicap over five furlongs kicks off the ITV action and the Ascot card, 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.

14:05 - The John Smith's City Walls Stakes (Listed Race)

Copper Knight was a top second in the Gosforth Park Cup last time out, and can use his excellent record at this venue to his advantage when lining up in the York opener - the Listed John Smith's City Walls Stakes.

The four-year-old is a triple-winner over this course and distance, winning once this year back in May along with a third-place finish ten days later behind the rejuvenated Duke Of Firenze.

Demands respect here, and should be in the firing line for another victory on the Knavesmire for Tim Easterby and David Allan.

14:20 The Bet365 Mile Handicap Stakes

John Gosden has his string in a rich vein of form at the minute, and Honest Albert - an unexposed son of Sepoy, looks to have every chance of remaining unbeaten in the bet365 Mile Handicap.

The three-year-old returned from a lengthy absence to win readily at Nottingham two weeks ago and he has the beating of William Haggas' Bayroot based on that form.

More to come, and Frankie Dettori is unsurprisingly booked - a jockey with ten winners from his last twenty-three rides at the time of writing.

14:40 The John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes (Group 3)

Weekender is back for John Gosden for the first time since early May in the Group Three The John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes.

Runner-up last year here off top weight in Europe's biggest handicap - the Ebor over this distance in August, he moved on from his returning sixth at Ascot behind De Ex Bee to return to winning ways at Chelmsford albeit on the all-weather.

Ready to get going again in the colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah, and will be ridden by Robert Havlin just before his respective suspension kicks in.

14:55 The Bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2)

Cries that Year Of The Tiger's progression had been halted with a poor seventh at Royal Ascot were laughed away at Naas last weekend when he bolted up at Naas to land his maiden at the third time of asking.

Now lining up in the bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, this horse finished second to Sheila Lavery's Lil Grey at the Curragh on debut, before never nearer the likes of Pinatubo and stablemate Lope Y Fernandez in the Chesham Stakes when coming home seventh.

Plenty to like though about his win on Saturday and surely that sees him in with a great chance for a yard who landed a winner with a juvenile here on Thursday.

15:15 The John Smith's Racing Handicap Stakes

Next up at York is the John Smith's Racing Handicap, and if Escobar can run anything like he did at Sundown last week, he will be one to fear over this reduced mile trip.

Sporting the dartboard colours for David O'Meara, the five-year-old snuck up the rail in the Coral Challenge last week to run on well to grab second behind Mojito and Frankie Dettori.

He placed despite fumbling out of the stalls, but was clearly his best effort all season.

Has form to reverse from his previous start here when never in the spotlight in a similar Class Two handicap, but hopefully he has got the hang of things now.

15:30 The Bet365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap)

The bet365 Bunbury Cup is as tricky as they come but we are expecting some extra place enhancements on the day making our two each-way pokes look good value.

Both Solar Gold and Crossing The Line finished strongly behind Guineas winner Billesdon Brook at Chelmsford on their latest starts and this represents a drop in class, plus the form has subsequently been boosted at Group and Listed level.

Solar Gold represents the in-form William Haggas yard - who may have more progress in her, whilst Crossing The Line is certainly capable of being involved for the partnership of Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding.

15:50 The John Smith's Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap Stakes

Mountain Angel and Jazeel are the two to take out of the John Smith's Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap over the extended ten furlongs.

Roger Varian's Mountain Angel kicked off his campaign with two handicap victories at Epsom before running well when finishing fifth in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Should fare better here, likewise Jazeel who comes here off the back of an impressive victory at Sandown of which he is penalised for.

More is needed here, but useful claimer aboard and the stronger gallop could certainly suit his chances.

Both are nice each way prices.

16:00 The Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes (Group 2)

The highlight 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.

16:40 The Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)(British Champions Series)

First of the three-year-olds in the market for the feature of the day - the Darley July Cup is Advertise, who bounced back to form with a top display in the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

After flopping in the Guineas, the return to six furlongs along with the first time blinkers lit up the son of Showcasing, who also won a Group One as a juvenile over that distance in the Phoenix Stakes.

Connections did not want to go here, until the retirement of Blue Point opened the door.

The July Cup at Newmarket wraps up Super Saturday on ITV.