Montaser can continue progress at Ascot
By Stephen, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Stephen Harris
David Simcock's progressive Montaser can land Ascot's feature Close Brothers Property Finance Handicap at 3.20 this afternoon.
The 3-y-o has crept in at the bottom of the weights in this competitive contest and still looks very well treated after an impressive victory last time out at Haydock. This step upto two miles seems ideal on run-style and he can quicken away late on under the revitalised Silvestre de Souza.
Main danger for the £11,500 prize money comes from Romeo Montague. Ed Dunlop's 4-y-o is always highly tried and is fairly useful on his day, but often doesn't find much for pressure having flattered to deceive with the way he travels. He ran another fine race in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the Royal meeting here last time and has strong form claims once again if the cards fall right.
John Gosden's Purification has made gradual progress with every run this season and has claims if lasting out over the longest trip he has ever tackled, while Martial Law is one to watch in the betting on his first run on the flat for 440 days for the shrewd David Pipe yard (fit from hurdles).
Rockfella scored twice in 2011 and made further progress when landing a competitive 11-runner handicap by a neck from Albert Bridge on his return at Salisbury (1m6f). He was not at best under much more patient tactics last time and could easily bounce back given his upwardly mobile profile.
Spice Fair is interesting with Richard Hughes an eyecatching booking for his small yard. He is a confirmed hold-up performer who won three decent handicaps last year and was a good second on his return to action at Goodwood . The 5-y-o wasn't disgraced in the Ascot Stakes here last time (staying on sixth having not had the clearest of runs), and is an each-way alternative to our selection on drying ground that suits.
Taikoo hails from the Hughie Morrison stable that is unusually quiet and he has regressed after a promising start to the season, while Merchant of Dubai has shown very little in three runs this season despite starting to plummet in the weights.
In summary, a tight handicap where clear preference is for the unexposed Montaser. He went into the notebook as a stayer to follow at Haydock last time and is worth a win investment at around 7-2 this morning.
Stephen's Friday Nap Diaminda 2.10 Ascot
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