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Saturday’s best bet can be found at Ascot where Malaya has ticks in all the right boxes.

Her course record reads one win and one place from four runs at the track. On soft ground her record reads two wins and one place from four runs on the surface. She’s won at this time of year and more importantly she’s won first time up. Malaya is also still on the same mark as when finishing second behind a handicap snip last time out, which happened to be at this course, which suggests to me she’s well-handicapped given she was rated 4lb higher on 142 at one point last season.

This all makes a really solid case and when you add in the fact that Paul Nicholls’ stable has won the race and had three others placed from just eight runners in the last ten years then everything looks to be in place to run a massive race.

I’d be disappointed if she was not at least in the places and at 5/1 on the sportsbook – meaning she will refund stakes if placing – I will be backing her each way.

Lion can roar at Ascot

Also worth an each-way bet is Blaklion in the 15:40 at Ascot at what currently looks a huge price (12/1). He’s really well-handicapped given he was once rated as high as 161 and I think the move to Dan Skelton’s stable could work wonders.

Although the finishing positions of his runs last season suggest his form has tailed-off a lot, he actually ran better than those figures would imply. More importantly he’s a totally different horse with a fence to jump. He’s won going right-handed, won at this time of year and I think he’s gone a bit under the radar.

Blaklion is also a big horse and will enjoy carrying ‘just’ 11-0 given this is the first time he’s carried anywhere near as low a weight since 2017. The race could well be set up for a stayer at the trip and this fellow stays all day.


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