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Thursday, 1 October 2015

3.45 Ascot, Saturday, October 3

The Totescoop6 Challenge Cup (3.45), run over 7 furlongs at Ascot, is the betting highlight of the Autumn Meeting at the Berkshire track. With a maximum field of 18 runners, it’s disappointing that just two are on offer at odds longer than 25/1 in the ante post market but, as ever, if you’re backing our selections, it’s worth having a look at what’s available on the betting exchanges, such as Betfair.

Jallota (20/1) remains 6lb higher in the weights than when winning at York in June, but has held his form well and is better off at the weights with recent conquerors Rene Mathis and Mr Win, so shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s hardly a prolific winner – to which his career record of two wins from 26 starts bears testament – but appears versatile with regard to underfoot conditions and again ran highly creditably in defeat when fourth of nine, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Hathal in the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury last time.

Oisin Murphy rode Intransigent (20/1) to win this race, off a 4lb lower mark, last year, but this time opts for Gabriel’s Lad (14/1), whom he rode for the first time when sixth of nine, beaten 3¼ lengths, Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury. Strictly speaking, Denis Coakley’s 6-year-old is only 1lb better off for the 1½ lengths he finished behind Jallota on that occasion, but was having just his second run back after more than a year off, so can be expected to strip fitter this time. He’s just 2lb higher in the weights than when convincingly winning the Victoria Cup, over course and distance, last season, so has an obvious chance if anywhere near his best.

Intransigent (20/1) is on a losing run of nine, but is consequently just 4lb higher in the weights than when beating old rival Empire Storm (33/1) by 1½ lengths in this race last year and, with Kieran Shoemark taking off 5lb, has fair prospects once again. The Trans Island gelding has won on good to soft, good and good to firm going, so shouldn’t be hindered by drying conditions in the South East and is well drawn, in stall 16, in his bid to repeat last year’s victory.

Selections: Ascot 3.45 Jallota (20/1 with Paddy Power), Gabriel’s Lad (14/1 with Boylesports, Sporting Bet and Bet Victor) and Intransigent (20/1 generally available)

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