Ascot’s King George meeting kicks off with a competitive seven-race card on Friday, all live on Sky Sports Racing, while there is also jumping from Uttoxeter and evening entertainment from Chepstow.
3.40 Ascot – In-form Whipmaster and Commonsensical clash
Top jockey Ryan Moore heads to Ascot and partners up with father Gary for just the fourth time this year on The Whipmaster in the feature John Guest Racing Handicap (3.40pm).
The four-year-old has flourished this season, scoring four times in a row, including at class two level at Windsor last month.
The handicapper is taking no chances now, putting The Whipmaster up 6lbs for that latest victory, but the booking of the former champion – who rode the horse to victory at Sandown in May – is a major plus.
He faces five rivals including Hugo Palmer’s Commonsensical, who is another rising star to have shown significant progress as a four-year-old in the staying handicap division.
Victory at Chepstow in May was followed by a cracking effort at Ripon before getting back to winning ways at Carlisle last month.
Palmer then booked the services of James Doyle as they went up in class and trip at Newmarket earlier this month, only to be beaten a neck by Michael Bell’s Adjuvant. Apprentice title chaser Harry Davies is back on board this time.
Another main danger comes from course and distance winner Juan De Montalban from the Kevin Philippart de Foy team. The Lope De Vega gelding was sent of 4/1 second-favorite for the Copper Horse Stakes at Royal Ascot on the back of May’s victory but could only manage 14th of 16 and faces an easier task here.
3.05 Ascot – Tutty’s Mostly Cloudy seeks five-timer
Three-year-old Mostly Cloudy will be a warm order to land his fifth win in a row as he steps up in class for the John Guest Racing Brown Jack Handicap (3.05).
Winless in his first five starts, Mostly Cloudy has really turned it on since May, recording victories at Redcar, Sandown, Nottingham and Doncaster.
Trainer Gemma Tutty now turns to the services of Tom Marquand as they take on four older rivals.
Mostly Cloudy certainly will not have it all his own way as he meets Ian Williams’ veteran stayers Speedo Boy and Mancini, the latter the mount of Ryan Moore.
Speedo Boy’s last victory came in this contest 12 months ago and he reappears after a wind operation.
4.15 Ascot – Watson & Hampson hoping for honeymoon celebration
Newly-married couple Archie Watson (trainer) and Brodie Hampson (jockey) team up with top weight Alazwar in the AllInTheRace Ascot Lady Amateur Riders’ Handicap (4.15).
Hambleton Racing’s four-year-old has made a successful switch to the Flat, winning two of his three starts this year on the All-Weather, having started life in bumpers and finishing third on hurdles debut back in February.
He makes a handicap and Turf debut here, but warrants plenty of respect after three months off.
Micky Hammond’s Carnival Zain has been in top form this season, winning three of his six starts, with the latest at Chester coming with Friday’s rider Becky Smith on board.
Spirited Guest has failed to score in ten starts since landing this prize 12 months ago so would need to bounce back to form with Rosie Margarson back in the saddle.
Watch every race from Ascot, Chepstow and Uttoxeter live on Sky Sports Racing on Friday, July 22