Four To Follow: Huk, Line And Sinker

Four to Follow might not be in the best of form, but last week Savethelastdance, saved our blushes and this week we start anew. It’s a cracking card at Ascot, with a King George to savour, and York is also in the limelight too. Let’s see if we can Prosper for Gold up North and Huk a Bara-load of money at Ascot. Here’s this week’s four to follow…





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3:00 – Moet & Chandon International Stakes (Heritage H’cap) – Baradar @ 7/1 (William Hill, 888 Sport, BetVictor, Boylesports)

As soon as I looked at the declarations on Thursday morning, my attention was immediately on him. Baradar has been one of the handicap horses to follow this season, but he’s not paid the dividends. But this looks like the race for him to do it. He’s finally off his mark of 97 and dropped a pound to 96 and has first-time cheeckpieces on, which is always a positive. Conditions are ideal, given how well he ran in the mud in the Lincoln. Plus a wide stand-side draw is boosting his chances further.

Further down the market, our old friend Escobar is in this race for David O’Meara. The man from Malton (well Upper Helmsley) loves a big Ascot handicap and has the eye-catching booking of Frankie Dettori. He’s been dropping in the weights since his last win over C&D in October, and is down to his last winning mark. Ground conditions will be similar and a good each-way play at 16/1 (William Hill)



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3:40 – King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (GROUP ONE) – HUKUM @ 5/1 (William Hill, Unibet, Betfred)

My colleague Neil Levrett has given you a comprehensive guide to the big race, and mentioned that Hukum won’t like the ground too much. But with little rain forecast, and a prevailing wind I think the ground could dry out to good ground by the off time. But to win this race you need stamina, and what the two three-year-olds lack is stamina. Hukum has won over further, and on similar goings. Ratings go out of the window, and the form that Hukum has can put him over the rest of the field.

Hamish is another horse I can fully get behind in the each-way market. Hamish has plenty of stamina, winning over a mile-and-six last time out. And, as mentioned before, stamina is crucial. C&D winner back in October is also a tick. But he isn’t a Group One horse, and his best success can often be found around Group Three. But with stamina, ground and trainer in form, there’s nothing stopping him causing a shock at 50/1 (General)





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2:40 – Sky Bet Dash H’cap – Aberama Gold @ 6/1 (William Hill)

Aberama Gold has been supremely well handicapped and can build on her fifth last time out up at Ayr. Mark Winn is one of my favourite jockeys at the moment, and his crucial three pound claim can make the difference. With three pounds taken off, a winning mark of 85 comes into play. O’Meara will know that and also will know that he can perform on any sort of ground. A wide draw will help too and puts Aberama Gold closest to the money.

Tim Easterby is another who likes to get involved with the big handicaps and has a decent hand here. Hyperfocus is the one that I’m intrigued in, as he’s great on anything with soft in the going, and a mark of 94 is doable, particularly when he finished second in a York sprint on the same mark two years ago. 16/1 (Boylesports) is too bigger price to ignore.



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3:15 – Sky Bet York Stakes (Group Two) – My Prospero @ Evs (10Bet, BetUK)

William Haggas will have has this race lined up more than seven days in advance for My Prospero. We’ve seen the Haggas team have a bit of a rise and fall this season, not producing winners at Ascot, but starting to get back on track. He ain’t giving up. You have to rewind back to 2013 when he last won this race, but York is in his DNA. My Prospero will love the ground, and can build on his two Group One runs this season, by dropping down a grade. If he doesn’t win, I shall be suffering from Insomnia for weeks.

In other news Craig David is performing afterwards (spot the references above)

The very best of luck!

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