Ahead of Sun Chariot Day on ITV Racing, The Top Three is in a good run of form following the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe card last week.
All three of Sunday’s selections returned profit and the weekly column finally found a big-priced winner as Kelina fought off the challenge of Kinross to win the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at 16/1.
The final @BestOfBetsUK selection of Arc Day is first past the post at 16/1 in the Prix de la Foret 😃
There could be a potential stewards’ enquiry to get past, however.
Hope some of you were on – great way to end a successful day.
— Ash Symonds Journalism (@ASymondsJourno) October 1, 2023
Hopefully this can continue on what is an action-packed Saturday as I have three horses to consider from Ascot and Newmarket.
1:50 Ascot: Emaraaty Ana @ 11/4 with William Hill – 1pt Win
It’s always hard to walk away from one of your cliff horses as you always ask yourself the question of ‘what if’.
Luckily, coming into the 2023 Flat season I had managed to shake my attachment to Emaraaty Ana, however, I’ve fallen off the wagon and now firmly believe he is the most likely winner of the Listed Rous Stakes at Ascot at 11/4.
The seven-year-old stalwart returns to five furlongs for the first time since his third in the 2022 Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes behind Highfield Princess and The Platinum Queen, though he did finish a very good second in the most recent Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint behind Caravel over five-and-a-half furlongs.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 5, 2022
Add his second to Winter Power in the 2021 Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and facile victory at Hamilton in July 2021 into the mix and his record over the minimum distance begins to read favourably.
Despite his age and 31 runs under rules, Kevin Ryan’s Shamardal gelding appears to be in good form based on his neck second to Lezoo – a Group 1 Cheveley Park winner – in the Listed Hopeful Stakes earlier this season as well as his fair third in the Listed Garrowby Stakes at York last month.
Lezoo storms home to take Listed honours in the JenningsBet Hopeful Stakes!🏆
Ralph Beckett has had quite the afternoon! pic.twitter.com/5OaTzymw36
— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) August 26, 2023
Admittedly, I did question if I was missing something when I saw his price of 11/4 this morning, but his draw in stall two appears to be accounted into his price as high draws were benefitting on the straight course at Ascot yesterday.
I’m hopeful that his class and a bit of luck can make up for his draw because if this happens, Emaraaty Ana holds a strong chance to return to the winners’ enclosure for the first time in over two years.
2:40 Newmarket: Queen Emma @ 5/2 with William Hill – 3pt Win
Despite my constant barrage of Tony Carroll propaganda, the William Haggas stable ranks quite highly on the list of my favourite trainers in the Flat game.
From the jockeys they use to how Haggas is in post-race interviews and everything in between, there’s a lot to like.
Somerville Lodge has eight runners across four tracks to keep an eye on today, though Queen Emma is the one I’m most excited to see in the 1m4f fillies’ handicap at Newmarket.
The three-year-old by Saxon Warrior comes into her third handicap contest in good form following two victories and a second in her last three races.
— Goodwood Racecourse (@Goodwood_Races) August 25, 2023
One of those successes came at Goodwood in late August where she travelled smartly into the race and, after a bit of encouragement from Adam Farragher, showed her three rivals a clean set of heels; the second, Madame Ambassador, bolted up by four lengths at Newmarket on her next start, suggesting the form is reliable.
Furthermore, she was equally as impressive during her first victory of the season as she came four-wide around the bend at Lingfield and managed to make up the five-length deficit between her and the runner-up Marmara Sea with ease; similarly to her Goodwood win, the form looks good as Marmara Sea won on handicap debut at Haydock less than two months later.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 18, 2023
Although she failed to make it a hat-trick last time out, the softer conditions potentially stumped her chances slightly, so the return to a better surface should suit today.
All in, the booking of Frankie Dettori can only be a positive move for Queen Emma who looks to hold a brilliant chance in the 2:45 at Newmarket.
4:45 Ascot: Existent @ 11/1 with Boylesports – 1pt EW
I’ve stuck with the theme of horses running in yellow and black silks at Ascot today as in the finale, Existent deserves a chance at 11/1 with Boylesports.
On paper, plenty would suggest that trusting Stuart Williams’ five-year-old by Kingman is a brave move considering the last time he found the winners’ enclosure was 20 runs ago, yet I’m reluctant to leave him alone thanks to his well-handicapped nature.
That’s because his official rating of 90 is 10 pounds below his Goodwood second in August, 12 pounds below his promising fifth over course and distance last month and four pounds below his last winning mark.
That is an incredible fall through the weights for a horse who finished fourth in the Group 2 Temple Stakes in late May, just half a length behind the subsequent Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes winner Live In The Dream.
Dramatised wins the Betfred Temple Stakes
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) May 27, 2023
Out of stall 10, Existent is the best horse in this race on bare form and with Hector Crouch, a jockey who knows him, back in the saddle, he looks a decent each-way play in the final race at Ascot.