Two big Listed Races are the highlights of Friday’s racing, with Beatrice Aurore attempting to shine in a lower class at Ascot, while Momentary can bounce back to winning ways at York.
15:30 Ascot – Beatrice Aurore @ 5/2
A drop to Listed level is a significant drop in class for Beatrice Aurore as all of her last eight starts have been in Group company.
This experience should present an advantage, while the first-time jockey booking of William Buick is interesting.
The big doubt is whether 1m at Ascot represents her best trip, as she seems to be more effective over an additional 2f, as she displayed when staying on late to take fifth in the Windsor Forest Stakes at the same course last month.
Thistle Bird won a similar race at Windsor last time, but she may have difficulty conceding weight to the field.
Of those at each-way prices, Free Verse was a good winner in handicap company last time, but there are doubts as to whether she has the stamina for this trip, while she has been found wanting at this level before.
Therefore, place preference is for Moone’s My Name who virtually always seems to give a good account of herself and can continue to improve if the Ascot ground remains on the faster side.
19:30 York – Momentary @ 5/1
Momentary was a big flop at Royal Ascot on her latest start in the Ribblesdale Stakes and never really recovered from an early stumble.
However, in her penultimate race she did beat Oaks runner-up Shirocco Star and this form is arguably the best in the field.
She is worth another chance, although things will not be made easier by a 3lb penalty.
The intriguing runner is certainly Elas Diamond, who has not been seen on the racecourse for 636 days but did finish second to Blue Bunting on her last run as a two-year-old when she was also sent off favourite.
Blue Bunting obviously went on to win three Group One races and so this form is rock solid, assuming Elas Diamond has improved with age and will be none the worse for her lengthy absence.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.