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Victoria Cup upset on the cards

Frank Monkhouse | 13 May 2017

Ascot’s Saturday meet headlines

Ascot’s Victoria Cup day rates as the best on offer to horse racing punters on Saturday, with the main event scheduled for a 4.00pm start.

There’s also UK and Irish meetings to get through at Haydock, Lingfield, Nottingham, Hexham, Thirsk, Warwick and Curragh. Click here to bet on every leg at Coral, or to build your big price multiples, including Lucky 15s. Small stakes for bulky rewards!

Value in the race

It has already been a successful week’s punting for followers of our racing column, but we aim to deliver when it matters by leading you towards the winner of the Victoria Cup. A seven-furlong test, there’s a bumper prize pot on offer for the champion, ensuring a healthy turnout of the game’s most-popular speedsters.

Of the whopping 27-runner field pencilled in, Coral traders have moved swiftly to throw their support behind Fastnet Tempest, who goes as early favourite, 7/1 the call on Friday morning when opening. We do expect him to have a say at the finish, but think there’s better value out there in what looks to be an open contest.

Victoria Cup Raceday - Ascot Racecourse

George William has to be respected

The hopeful to carry our stake money in the Victoria Cup will be George William, currently available at an attractive 12/1. We’ve already seen a nibble of support in the betting for him early on, squeaking in from an opening offer of 14’s, which adds confidence.

Richard Hannon’s experienced four-year-old gelding is doing nothing but improve, and backers will be hoping to see another example of that on Saturday. A winner in two of his last three starts, the first of those cheers came around Chelmsford over today’s trip, beating off interest from He’s No Saint at chunky odds.

Plenty of fight in the pick

That was followed up with another trip to the winner’s enclosure, in his first outing of the year, banking the prize money at Nottingham over further. This time the odds compilers afforded him the respect he deserves, going off as jolly, but they were made to wish they had him shorter, doing the business at 9/2, again by a tight margin.

The most pleasing aspect of those wins for connections, and those wanting to give George William another chance, was the way he was seen digging deep to get over the line in tough races. Both came by the smallest of margins, but he hit the front and stuck to his task in each.

Winning the Victoria Cup over the snappy distance will require another gutsy show, but there’s enough on his CV, and plenty in the price, to give backers a real interest.

Baron Alco odds and Formidableopponent bets are among Coral's Plumpton punts and Musselburgh tips for November 14.

Time is right to back Epsom Icon

We also have a financial interest in the race before, the 3.25pm one mile fillies handicap. Epsom Icon is another expected to go at a punter-friendly price, and we see enough in her work to take a chance at landing a pay-out.

She has let punters down in the past, but looks to have been given a fairly easy time of it today by the handicapper, certainly judging on her best form and, if in the mood, she’s more than capable of upsetting a few. Won at Epsom twice and Newbury once and has been seen mixing it with better company than she’ll face here. If living up to her early promise, will go close.

Ascot Selections

2.15 – Lord George

2.50 – Uae Prince

3.25 – Epsom Icon

4.00 – George William

4.35 – Cardsharp

5.10 – Rio Ronaldo

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