Saturday Tips

Oisin Murphy wins the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on board Ed Walker's Starman
Image: Oisin Murphy wins the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on board Ed Walker's Starman

Starman failed to sparkle on his only previous visit to Ascot, but he can make amends with victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the Royal meeting.

The four-year-old's trip to Berkshire in October for the British Champions Sprint is a fair marker of the extreme progression he showed following his belated racecourse bow at Lingfield in July.

A neck winner on that first occasion, he justified Ed Walker's high regard when too good for King's Lynn, who is now rated 107, on his next start before cantering home in a Listed heat at York in September to book his Ascot ticket.

Beaten nearly seven lengths on his first Group One outing, it would be easy to say Starman just was not up to the task, but the deep ground that day had him all at sea and he showed on his seasonal bow he has the requisite class to make an impact in Group company.

While his neck victory over Nahaarr was not the most resounding of margins, Walker felt his charge would certainly progress for the racecourse spin and with third-placed Oxted having shown his rivals a clean pair of heels in Tuesday's King's Stand, the form is looking pretty strong.

Obviously further heavy rain would temper enthusiasm for Starman's chance, but if the ground does not get too testing for Saturday's card, it could take a good one to top him.

New Science can follow in the hoofprints of Pinatubo by winning the Chesham Stakes for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin.

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Obviously the Lope De Vega colt has some work to do if he is to match the juvenile exploits of his trainer's former star, but he showed plenty of promise in winning on his debut at Yarmouth last month.

He made virtually all the running over seven furlongs at the seaside track, and William Buick did not have to apply too much pressure to his mount in order to win by a length and a half.

On what should be a fine afternoon for the Appleby team, Naval Crown can also strike gold in the Jersey Stakes.

Fourth behind Poetic Flare in the 2000 Guineas when last seen, the merit of that run is clear given the winner's subsequent exploits - particularly as Naval Crown raced a bit freely on the Rowley Mile.

Switching back to seven furlongs might help to negate his keen-going nature as an issue.

Pendleton could be the solution to the ultra-competitive Wokingham Stakes.

First and second on two starts so far this term, he looks better than ever and should be in the mix here.

Dermot Weld's Falcon Eight was a stylish winner of the Chester Cup and the Queen Alexandra Stakes looks a fine opportunity to follow up.

The six-year-old made a mockery of top-weight in that competitive handicap, staying on strongly in the final furlong after a waiting ride from Frankie Dettori to triumph by a very cosy two lengths.

The near two-mile-six-furlong trip he faces here is an unknown, but what he does have is class and a change of gear at the finish, which could prove useful.

Another runner looking to confirm early promise is Highest Ground in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Impressive when winning as a juvenile, he was touted as a possible Derby hope for Sir Michael Stoute after beating Waldkonig on his return last term, but connections employed a patient approach and instead inched up to Group Two company in the delayed Dante.

Beaten a neck by Thunderous at York, he perhaps did not enjoy an ease in the surface and was comprehensively defeated on his only other start on soft going at Newmarket in October.

His initial run this term offered little encouragement, but dropped in class at Leicester earlier this month, Highest Ground got his head back in front, seeing off lesser rivals with the minimum of fuss.

He did not have a hard race and while this is a significant jump up in quality, he is just the type of horse Stoute works wonders with. He should go well as long as the heavens do not open unduly.

It is best to put a line through Stay Well's last run on what was a pretty grim day weather-wise at Goodwood. He might be better judged on his previous win at Windsor ahead of the Golden Gates Stakes.

SELECTIONS

ASCOT: 2.30 New Science, 3.05 Naval Crown, 3.40 Highest Ground, 4.20 STARMAN (NAP), 5.00 Pendleton, 5.35 Stay Well, 6.10 Falcon Eight.

DOWN ROYAL: 1.10 Cherry Bloom, 1.45 Arnhem, 2.20 Sasvana, 2.50 War Hero, 3.25 Kailash, 4.00 Martinique, 4.35 True Conviction, 5.10 Captain Attridge.

HAYDOCK: 6.00 Maytal, 6.30 Not On Your Nellie, 7.05 Baikal, 7.35 Mickydee, 8.05 Star Shield, 8.35 Billy Roberts.

LINGFIELD: 5.45 Yuften, 6.20 Beat The Storm, 6.50 Bint Australia, 7.20 Passionova, 7.50 Foden, 8.20 Bonus, 8.50 Roman Mist.

NEWMARKET: 1.40 Altraif, 2.10 Spanish Kiss, 2.45 Castana Dia, 3.20 Komachi, 3.55 Charlie Fellowes, 4.30 Isola Rossa, 5.05 Pallas Lord.

PERTH: 1.00 Art Man, 1.30 Hasankey, 2.00 Sword Of Fate, 2.35 Ballyhome, 3.10 Gripper, 3.45 Millarville, 4.15 Darkest Day.

REDCAR: 1.20 Benzema, 1.50 Ezanak, 2.25 Willa, 3.00 Cruyff Turn, 3.35 Navajo Spring, 4.10 Tequila Royale, 4.45 Truth In Jest.

DOUBLE: Starman and New Science.

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