Ascot Expert Eye: Pointers and tips for Friday's seven-race card

Ascot is the standout meeting on Friday October 1 and we've dug through some of the course stats to hopefully come up with a winner or two.

Ascot is one of six UK and Ireland tracks in action on Friday October 1 and it's the standout meeting in terms of quality, with the highlight being the Listed Noel Murless Stakes over 1m6f, one of seven races in all.

Course Characteristics

Right-handed triangle, galloping and stiff, with few undulations, Just over 1m6f round, with 2 1/2f run-in. Straight mile and round mile. All races up to 7f on straight course.

First-time Headgear

Both Future Investment and Indianapolis will be sporting different headgear - blinkers and cheekpieces respectively - in the 2m handicap (4.15) and, of the pair, the former horse is going to appreciate this stamina test having kept on into third over 1m6f last time out with cheekpieces added on that occasion.

Traveller's Check

King's Advice (243 miles) - Mark Johnston's sole runner on the card (from four five-day entries) might be worth a second look in the 2m handicap (4.15) as he was out the back of the field in a Musselburgh Heritage Handicap last time and, having had plenty to do a furlong out, he was noted staying on well close home to finish seventh of the 12 runners.

As that was his reappearance run, he should come on for it and he's on a good mark of 95, having won off 108 previously.

Woven (264 miles) - Michael Dod's makes the journey from Yorkshire with the five-year-old and it might not be a fruitless one as he's not without a chance based on his second at Thirsk two starts back, his best effort since finishing runner-up on his stable debut in April.

That effort can be marked up as lost ground when rearing at the start and today's 6f handicap (4.50) is a shade easier than the Ayr Silver Cup he contested last time.

Tammani (213 miles) - the Dods runner faces competition from 17 rivals and they include the four-year-old, one of two David O'Meara-trained runners on the card. We fancied him to go well in a mile handicap at York last time, only for him to run like a drain and finish stone last.

The writing was on the wall beforehand, though, as he was a huge drifter in the market and he's surely capable of better based on some of his earlier French form, including a neck second at Saint-Cloud in April. He'll pop up again soon but he might want further than today's 6f.

Top Jockey

Ryan Moore shares top jockey honours with William Buick (in action at Newcastle) for the current season on eight winners apiece, and his three booked rides are Walhaan (1.55), Liberated Lady (3.40) and Royaume Uni (4.15).

Ryan Moore has been the jockey to follow at Ascot
Ryan Moore has been the jockey to follow at Ascot

The former horse is trained by the in-form James Tate and the partnership have an eye-catching 1-3 strike rate (13-39) when teaming up over the past five seasons. Furthermore, the gelding came back to his best with a close second behind Uncle Bryn over course and distance last time.

Top Trainer

Anything the Gosdens run here is worthy of maximum respect with 11 winners to show from their 48 runners (23%) this term, and you'd be quids in if backing them blind with a very healthy £50.40 profit to £1 level-stakes.

Their two representatives this afternoon, First Light, who runs in the feature (3.05), and Sunray Major (4.50), arrive here on the back of wins and will have the assistance of Frankie Dettori in the saddle. Cheeky double, anyone?

Frankie is the star turn at Ascot
Frankie is the star turn at Ascot

The Italian will be extra keen to get amongst the winners this afternoon - see below.

A mention also of William Muir and Chris Grassick, whose four winners at the track (from just seven runners) this term have yielded a whopping £33.50 profit. Their four runners are Epic Endeavour (1.55), Country Pyle (2.30), Mitrosonfire (3.40) and Top Secret (4.50).

Dose Of Nostalgia

Who'd believe it? It's 25 years to the month since Frankie's 'Magnificent 7', which is a day racing fans (at least those old enough to remember) will never forget.

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And the course is doing its bit to commemorate the occasion with the running of the '25 Years Since Frankies Magnificent Seven Handicap' (4.15) - it's just a shame he doesn't have a booked ride.

The cumulative odds of those wins was 25,051-1 and he effectively stripped bookmakers of millions with many an acca landed - I should know as I was managing a Nottingham betting shop on the day itself. Carnage.

Good luck, everyone!

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