The Pointers team are back with a look at Friday's racing after a big-priced Thursday winner and there's a single selection at Ascot.
1pt win Tis Marvellous in 4.10 Ascot at 4/1 (General)
We were with TIS MARVELOUS each-way when he finished a length fourth over C&D last time behind Significantly and he is a value price to reverse that form on 4lb better terms.
I expected the draw to play a big part last time, as it had in the corresponding race in previous seasons, but that didn’t happen, with the first two drawn in stalls 8 and 2, for all the high numbers filled the next three places.
The draw is largely irrelevant here with only five runners, but Tis Marvellous does have the advantage of being drawn next to the speediest horse in the race, and that should see him get a tow from Caspian Prince where he ended up a little isolated last time.
The faster the ground the better for him, and the dry week means conditions should be perfect, with his C&D record on fast turf reading 114 and his best performance coming on ground described by Timeform as firm.
Rae Guest’s Mikasa has caught the eye in qualifying and is expected to show significant improvement now handicapping.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel is homebred by Chris and Lesley Mills out of their Listed winner Minalisa, who was also runner-up in the Ayr Gold Cup. Other good winners from the family to race in the Mills’s blue and white stripes include Ballyogan Stakes winner Miss Anabaa, a half-sister to Mikasa’s grand-dam Mina, all of whom were trained by Rae Guest.
Mikasa was far from knocked about when a keeping-on sixth behind Chief Of Staff at Brighton last time, hinting at better despite never really getting involved.
Guest has a 25% strike-rate at Chepstow of late, and while his record with handicap debutants in the past two years is just a respectable 3-25, it would look better if any of the eight runners-up had fallen in, and 44% of such runners finishing first or second is a very solid record in the circumstances.
The Chepstow BMC Challenge Handicap is rather a weak affair and it may pay to give the previously disappointing Retrospect another chance after he shaped well under a negative ride at Nottingham last time.
That was the son of Frankel’s first try at 1¾m and he was nearest at the finish having sat towards the rear of the field until the straight, whereupon he attempted to make a challenge on the unfavoured inside. In the circumstances, the run was better than it appears in the formbook, and he appeared to stay the longer trip well enough.
I’d hope to see him reverting to positive tactics, which often pay dividends at Chepstow, where the undulating straight makes it hard to make significant late ground.
Warranty is the only other potential front runner in the contest, but it’s interesting to note that he ran well over C&D last time when ridden from the rear. If he doesn’t go on, then Retrospect could bag an easy lead, and his excellent rider Ray Dawson stole a similar race from the front at Bath on Wednesday.
Dawson is on board Sky Central in the Dragon TV & Film Studios Handicap, and given he’s officially a handicap debutant for Neil Mulholland at Chepstow, he’s of interest as the trainer is 2-6 at the track in recent years with horses making their first handicap starts.
That’s ignoring the fact that Sky Central ran in a local handicap at Les Landes in Jersey recently, where he was able to run off a mark of 26 (!!) and was well beaten.
The fact that he is as short as 5/1 here tells you plenty about how poorly contested this is and it’s hard to oppose Ocean Reach, who was a good second of 14 in the aforementioned Nottingham handicap, and who has a number of creditable efforts at Chepstow to her name.
She is 0-28 in her career, but while that record hints at a suspect temperament, she lacks nothing in terms of attitude, and will never get a better chance to break her duck.
Published at 2050 BST on 22/07/21
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