Bet With Ascot Challenge Cup Tips & Preview – Saturday 6th October 2018

We have variety as well as quality on offer this weekend on the racing front, and whilst the major Group 1 contests both in Britain and in France will likely grab the headlines, for many racing fans there’s simply nothing better than a big field handicap. The pick of the bunch on that score comes at Ascot with the latest renewal of the always competitive Challenge Cup.

We like the claims of a couple of those towards the head of the market here, but with four places up for grabs we just prefer an each way punt on one of the least exposed runners in the field at what looks a tasty price.

Top Tips

Raydiance each way @ 20/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

Seven furlongs is the trip for this Class 2 Heritage contest, with £180,000 in total prize money up for grabs. The ground at the track is currently described as good but we do have significant rain forecast in the area for Saturday.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 7f Class 2 £180,000 18 Runners 1/4 1-4

Recent Winners

Open to all runners aged three and older, recent evidence suggests it may pay to concentrate on those between three and five years old, with nine of the past 10 winners falling into this bracket.

Middle to high has been the place to be when it comes to the draw. Eight of the past 10 winners have emerged from stall eight or above.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2017 Accidental Agent 16/1 Eve Johnson Houghton Charles Bishop
2016 Librisa Breeze 11/2 Dean Ivory Robert Winston
2015 Buckstay 9/2 Peter Chapple-Hyam Jamie Spencer
2014 Intransigent 16/1 Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore
2013 Sky Lantern 7/4 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy

Analysis: Burke Runner To Shine Brightest

With a maximum field of 18 set to go to post, luck in running and being on the right side of the track when it comes to the pace of the race are factors likely to prove as significant as ever. Many of these will have their supporters on the day, but below we outline the three who we will be focussing on.

Bloom To Spear Rivals Again?

Owner Tony Bloom is no stranger to success in these major handicap contests, having registered big wins with the likes of Withold and Stratum already this season. Another to have taken Bloom to the winner’s enclosure is the Dean Ivory trained, Flaming Spear. A good winner of a 17 runner affair at Goodwood last time out – pulling one and a quarter lengths clear of the field at the line – he bids to follow up here. At six years of age he may be older than a typical winner, but looks nicely berthed in stall 16 and may not be out of this despite being bumped up six pounds in the handicap.

Ray To Lead The Way?

Amongst the three year olds in this year’s field, one who looks pretty interesting is the Karl Burke representative, Raydiance. Having just the seventh run of his career here, he has a better chance than most of having a little bit in hand from the handicapper. He also gets a big tick in the conditions box as his career highlight so far came when landing a Listed contest over this course and distance in July of last year. Significantly that run came on soft ground, and if some of the weather forecasts are to be believed, we may well be looking at similar underfoot terrain here. He hasn’t pulled up any trees in his three runs so far this season, but then he hasn’t had his ground yet. This son of Mayson may well be feasibly handicapped off a mark of 102.

Byron To Lord It Over The Competion?

One who does look solid to go well is the Roger Varian runner, Cape Byron. This one has solid form figures at the track of 102, with that second coming when runner up over this course and distance last time out. He gets a two pound hike in the handicap for that but that may be partially offset by the likely softer ground here. A winner both on soft ground and at up to a mile, this four year old son of Shamardal ought to be suited should this turn into a good test at the distance.

Final Verdict: Raydiance each way

Dean Ivory and Tony Bloom won this in 2016 with Librisa Breeze and are a combination to be feared. The rain in the area may not be certain to suit Flaming Spear though and at the prices we will look elsewhere.

Take a chance on Raydiance. A good fit on the trends when it comes to age and draw, he has a proven liking for the track and looks an appealing each way proposition.

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