8.10 Ascot – HIGHLIGHT REEL (nap)
The selection, trained by Michael Bell, is a son of Big Bad Bob who shaped well on debut in a 6f median auction novice at Lingfield last June, though he found the step up in class too much when finishing down the field in the Chesham Stakes here a few weeks later. Having flattered to deceive back in calmer waters at Newcastle the following month, he got off the mark at the fourth time of asking in a 7f novice auction event at Newmarket (July) three weeks later (7/2 chance), tanking along under a waiting ride and making smooth progress amongst rivals two furlongs out, produced to lead entering the final furlong and kept up to his work to see off Alternative Fact by half a length. It is clear he’s a tricky customer (hooded last time and has been gelded since last seen), not looking the most generous of individuals off the bridle, but he is a strong-travelling type who should thrive in the environment of a well-run race on a straight track. For all he’ll likely be a hostage to fortune here – nigh on certain to be buried away by Jamie Spencer in this 19-runner field and delivered as late as possible – this sort of scenario could very well bring out the best in him. It is also no coincidence he reappears over this course and distance, this almost certainly a test of his credentials for the Britannia Handicap back here next month; needing to improve his current mark of 82 in order to make the cut for that event, this son of Big Bad Bob is taken to make a winning return to action here.