Ascot preview: International Stakes (15.15)
Heaven’s Guest looks to have plenty going for him in typically ultra-competitive renewal of the 7f International Stakes at Ascot (15.15).
The Richard Fahey trained gelding is a tough and consistent sort who has some top class form in big field handicaps, including when landing a valuable pot over course and distance back in 2013.
Heaven’s Guest went on to land the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last season and posted a cracking effort in this contest 12 months ago when a fast finishing 1 1/2 length fourth of 29 to Heavy Metal off 103.
The five-year-old has looked as good as ever this term, landing a conditions’ contest at Thirsk and a Listed contest at Naas in good style off an official rating of 105.
Heaven’s Guest also ran a blinder last time out when third attempting to defend the Bunbury Cup, and looks nicely treated off an unchanged mark of 103.
The son of Dark Angel is also versatile as regards going, and won’t be inconvenienced by soft ground if the forecast rain hits the Berkshire venue.
Another plus is that Heaven’s Guest goes well for Jack Garrity, and taking his 3lb claim into account he looks weighted to run a huge race.
There are plenty of dangers in a wide open affair, and the progressive Bushcraft could well prove the biggest.
The Ed Walker trained colt had some smart form as a juvenile when winning twice from four starts, but was then forced to miss the whole of 2014 through injury.
However, Bushcraft has returned to action this season with a vengeance and rattled up a hat-trick in impressive fashion.
After winning twice at Windsor, the four-year-old posted a career best effort at Newcastle last time out when readily defying a 5lb rise in the weights to cosily beat See The Sun by 1 1/4 lengths.
That is strong form, and a further 5lb rise is unlikely to stop Bushcraft being very competitive as he only just does enough to get the job done and is a hard horse for the handicapper to get to grips with.
Coral’s best bet: Heaven’s Guest looks heaven-sent to punters at a fantastic price.