The clash between stablemates Workforce and Harbinger in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes may be the centrepiece of Ascot’s card on Saturday but the big betting heat is the Victoria Racing Club International Stakes.
Twenty two are due to face the starter in this 7f handicap with the Michael Jarvis-trained three-year-old Yaa Wayl vying for outright favouritism with Tagseed, who has been making steady progress this season and may still be well handicapped. Both are available at a general 7/1 but could find themselves inconvenienced by a low draw. Something (20/1 with Ladbrokes) returned to winning ways at Epsom last time and Dandy Nicholls’ runners can never be ignored in races like this. But he has to carry a penalty for that latest success, while there may be insufficient give in the ground for the useful Suruor (16/1 with Totesport and Ladbrokes).
Crown Choice, 14/1 with Skybet and Stan James, may now be in the handicapper’s grip but the lightly-raced Decent Fella has to be of interest following a promising reappearance at Newmarket in May and has been backed down to a general 10/1.
But a chance is taken on Swift Gift (16/1 general) who normally runs well in these big handicaps and will be all the better for his sixth in the Buckingham Palace Handicap over C&D last month, his first run since February. He can reverse that form with the likes of Himalya, Imperial Guest and Hajoum this weekend.