Some of the biggest names from the weighing room head to Ascot on Friday where the Champagne Handicap features, plus there is action from Newcastle, all live on Sky Sports Racing.
4.45 Ascot – Ouzo and Major Partnership clash in feature
The Palmer & Co Champagne Handicap (4.45) looks a typically competitive contest at Ascot, with all seven runners looking to hold claims.
Saeed bin Suroor claimed this race last year with Dubai Mirage and Major Partnership represents the Newmarket handler this time under Oisin Murphy. The eight-year-old will top the weights as he bids to go one better than when second over course and distance in July.
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Former champion jockey Ryan Moore heads over for six rides on the card, including Aerion Power for Sir Michael Stoute. The five-year-old was last seen finishing a creditable fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting in June at odds of 40/1.
Richard Hannon’s Ouzo has been running well in top handicaps this season, including when behind Aerion Power in sixth at Royal Ascot, and seeks his first success since October 2020.
The Marco Botti-trained Daysofourlives, who scored at Kempton on his last start of 2022, will need to bounce back from a tame effort when sixth in a similar Newmarket handicap last time.
2.25 Ascot – O’Brien’s Kestrel starts off in exciting maiden
A brilliant selection of choicely bred two-year-olds clash in the Charbonnel Et Walker British EBF Maiden Stakes (2.25) over seven furlongs.
Aidan O’Brien introduced none other than Paddington in this contest last season and Kestrel represents the master trainer here. A son of Justify, out of a Galileo mare, he makes his debut under Ryan Moore.
Saeed bin Suroor’s Olympic Candle caught the eye when staying on strongly to finish third on debut at Newbury and should go close granted normal progression.
Owen Burrows’ Moyassr was a beaten favourite when third in a Salisbury novice and should relish this step up in trip.
4.30 Newcastle – Burke’s Dark Encounter has chance to get off the mark
The Gowland & Dawson Nursery (4.30) looks to be a good opportunity for Karl Burke’s Dark Encounter to get off the mark at the fifth attempt.
The son of Dark Angel outran odds of 40/1 when finishing a close fourth of 20 in a £50,000 contest at York last month and only has five to beat here.
Charlie Johnston’s Alpen Power is feared on handicap debut having shown some promise in three starts, including when fourth here in July.
Ollie Pears’ Consoling is the sole winner in the field, having landed a Musselburgh maiden on his third start, and ran a huge race when third in a sales race at Newmarket last month.
Gamraan is without a win from five starts but would have claims on his penultimate runner-up effort at Goodwood.