Flying Hammer can land hat-trick at Ascot
The 4.35 at Ascot on Friday is a seven furlong handicap for three-year-olds with nine runners set to go to post.
William Haggas saddles the favourite with the hat-trick seeking Flying Hammer, a colt by Acclamation out of Ruse by Diktat.
He made a promising debut at Newmarket last October when finishing third to Suddyan but did not reappear until Chepstow in August. He was well supported in the betting market and recovered from a slow start to beat Mickey Hall by a length and a half.
He was given a handicap mark of 79 for his next start on the all-weather at Kempton and Pat Cosgrave tucked him in behind horses on the rail. He had to extricate the colt to get a run in the closing stages, just getting the better of Cascading Stars in a driving finish. The handicapper clearly believes that he is better than the bare form suggests and has pushed him up 8lbs on Friday.
The main danger could be Goring, a German-bred colt by Areion trained by Eve Johnson Houghton. He battled to victory at Beverley in the spring before finishing a good second in the valuable Haydock Silver Bowl behind Mutarakez. He lost his form before bouncing back with a victory at Newbury last month, beating Harlequin Striker by a length. He is only 2lbs worse off with that rival, the winner of his previous two races for Mick Channon.
Khareer was a narrow winner of a Salisbury maiden in August for Charles Hills but never really threatened on his handicap debut at Ayr last month, eventually finishing fifth behind Argaki.
Them And Us has won handicaps at Epsom and Newmarket this season for Michael Bell. He was tried over six furlongs last time but was only fifth to Dragon King and now reverts to his favoured trip. Fieldsman was second to Mujassam at Yarmouth but ran poorly at Ayr when beating only one horse home behind Right Touch.
Mount Tahan could be given an outside chance on the pick of his form, notably when beating Sirheed at Newmarket over this distance. He has been well beaten at York on his last two starts for Kevin Ryan. Top weight Explosive Lady looks to have a lot to do while Anonymous John has shown precious little this summer.
Flying Hammer 4.35 Ascot Friday @2.63 Sportsbet