Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 13:22 25/07/2014
It is hard to imagine a more competitive handicap all season than tomorrow's Longines International Stakes in which 29 horses will be thundering up the Ascot straight in an effort to claim the first prize of £93,375 in the seven furlong contest for which Victoria Cup winner Gabriel's Lad tops the weights on 9st 10lb.
The lightly-raced Horsted Keynes heads the betting at a best price 7/1 with William Hill and Bet365 due to what appeared to be an unlucky run when just beaten in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot after failing to get the clearest of passages in the race run over tomorrow's course and distance.
Roger Varian's four-year-old will be racing off a 3lb higher mark on this occasion and is not guaranteed to confirm form with the third horse Watchable on 2lb worse terms for three quarters of a length and while a big run is expected is passed over at such short odds.
As expected in such a wide-open affair their are a host of runners who are capable of going close on their best form including the likes of course specialist Belgian Bill, the back to form Bronze Angel and the disappointing but still promising Abseil, but at the 33/1 available with Betway it could be worth taking a chance on the Ed Vaughan-trained Dance And Dance.
An eight-year-old now the mount of William Carson has been threatening to win a major handicap since finishing second in the 2011 Royal Hunt Cup off a mark of 102, 8lb less than the Royal Applause gelding will be asked to carry tomorrow and after reaching a career high rating of 110 during the summer of 2012 is certainly up to winning a race of this nature off 94.
A short head second to Tenor at Newmarket back in May, Dance And Dance finally got a change of luck at Newcastle last month when getting the race in the steward's room, going down by a short head to the improving Baraweez after receiving a bump from that rival in the closing stages, and in a contest that may be dominated by those drawn high is a sporting selection to go well from stall 16 at a huge price.