Ascot Challenge Cup tips: Squats in perfect shape to thwart rivals in feature
David Metcalf | September 29, 2016
Squats odds may prove too strong for Challenge Cup rivals
William Haggas gelding Squats was a big eye-catcher last time out, so he looks to hold leading claims of landing a typically wide-open and fierce renewal of the Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday (15:40).
Finishing a never nearer 1 1/2 length fourth of 18 to Dutch Law over course and distance last time out, nothing went in his favour.
After being held-up at the rear and given plenty to do by Ryan Moore, Squats was denied a clear run and forced to check on a couple of occasions before staying on strongly to be gaining all the way to the line.
Given how the race panned out, it was a cracking effort by the four-year-old to get so close. Although now 2lb higher in the weights, that rise is offset by the 5lb claim of highly promising apprentice Georgia Cox.
Squats had also run a blinder over course and distance when a 1 1/2 length runner-up to Librisa Breeze in an 18-runner contest back in July when ridden by Cox, and now meets that rival on 3lb better terms.
If Squats can build on his latest effort that may well be enough to see him gain his revenge.
Firmament holds solid claims
David O’Meara four year-old Firmament has been in tremendous form this season and looks sure to go well.
He has won three of his six starts and finished a length in front of Squats when chasing home Dutch Law over course and distance at the beginning of last month.
Firmament was denied a clear run a furlong from home, before staying on strongly to be beaten just 1/2 a length.
It was an effort which suggested their could be even more improvement left in the locker, and there is little to choose between him and Squats whom he now meets on 2lb worse terms.
Suzi’s Connoisseur a lively outsider
Suzi’s Connoisseur has some solid form at the track and looks capable of going well at a big price.
Stuart Williams’ gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing a handicap at Leicester back in October 2014 when trained by Hugo Palmer.
However, the five-year-old has run some really solid races in hot handicaps over course and distance including when fifth of 21 to Heaven’s Guest in last year’s International Stakes.
Suzi’s Connoisseur also ran very well when a head second of 17 to Certificate in the Revival Stakes at Goodwood on his penultimate outing.
He was far from disgraced last time out over course and distance too, when a close up eighth behind Firmament and Squats in the race won by Dutch Law when seeing too much daylight in the early stages.
The Coral news horse racing page has all the top tips and best bets to interest punters.
Coral’s top tip: Squats shaped really well last time out, so looks worth a wager in an typically ultra-competitive renewal of the Challenge Cup. Firmament seems sure to go well, while Suzi’s Connoisseur appeals as a lively outsider.