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Ascot preview: Richard Of Yorke primed for battle

Richard Of Yorke looks potentially a cut-above his rivals in the 1m 4f handicap at Ascot today (15.45) and can bounce back from a below-par effort last time out to land the spoils.

The Luca Cumani trained colt looked a smart prospect when winning on debut at Windsor, where after being held-up and denied a clear run two from home he showed a good turn of pace to burst through horses inside the final furlong and beat Wonder Laish by a neck.

Given how the race panned out it was a terrific effort, and the runner-up bolted up by 15 lengths at Lingfield in the manner of a useful sort.

Richard Of Yorke was allotted an opening handicap mark of 85 on the back of that success and ran a stormer off it when fourth to Dartmouth at Sandown.

The three-year-old ran on strongly from off the pace to be beaten just 3/4 of length despite showing distinct signs of inexperience, and the winner is a very useful sort who has gone on to score twice since and is now rated 102.

Considering that Richard Of Yorke was attempting to give Dartmouth 7lb it was a cracking run, and the form reads very well in the context of this contest.

Although Richard Of Yorke failed to back up that effort last time out at Newmarket when a disappointing fourth, he looked ill at ease on the firm ground and has since been given a break to freshen up.

The return to an easier surface looks sure to suit, as does the step up to 1m 4f, and off a mark of 87 Richard Of Yorke is thrown-in at the weights judged on his run behind Dartmouth.

Trainer Brian Meehan has his team in good form at present, and Spark Plug can provide the Newmarket handler with another winner in the 1m handicap (16.20).

The four-year-old finished an excellent second of 22 in the Spring Cup at Newbury on seasonal reappearance, before going one better to land a competitive class 2 contest at the same venue off a mark of 102.

Spark Plug is able to race in this off just 3lb higher, having shaped far better than the bare result in his last two starts.

On both occasions the son of Dylan Thomas has been given far too much to do, and this doesn’t look a strong a contest as those in which Spark Plug has been competing this season.

Selections:
14.10: Yeah Baby Yeah
14.40: Diamond Lady
15.10: Indian Monsoon
15.45: Richard of Yorke (NAP)
16.20: Spark Plug (NB)
16.55: Arthenus