13:45 Ascot: Each-way alternatives to Estimate hold most appeal
Guesswork is certainly not needed to identify why Estimate is the clear favourite to win the Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day, but her absence from the racecourse since June does suggest she is plenty short enough to extend her unbeaten Ascot record.
Ladbrokes are offering 7/4 that Estimate wins the Long Distance Cup and the fact that she is regarded one of the bankers of the card in many circles, means the four-year-old is sure to feature in numerous multiples.
Estimate certainly ticks all of the boxes in terms of statistics, as she has won all three career starts at Ascot, both her races to have previously been run over 2m and triumphed in her sole start on soft ground. Meanwhile, two of the last three winners of this race broke from stall three, which is where she is drawn.
Furthermore, despite being a Group 1 winner, she runs in this Group 3 contest without being penalised by the penalty of additional weight.
However, some niggling problems since victory at Royal Ascot in June does put a small dampener on her chances, as Estimate has missed some decent staying pots at Goodwood, York and Doncaster in the intervening period.
Although Estimate does look the most likely winner, this absence does suggest that an each-way alternative to the Queen’s horse may prove the best bet of the race.
Ahzeemah is the model of consistency, having failed to finish outside of the first two in each of his last 11 starts.
This 2m trip seems his ideal distance and so it is hard to see him finishing out of the frame at a decent each-way price of 8/1.
Aiken took second in this last year and was earmarked as one to watch over staying distances in the current campaign. But, some problems over the winter and spring have caused him to underperform.
Trainer John Gosden believes the worst is now behind him and so Aiken could be one to consider at a bigger price of 16/1.
Finally, all of the last eight winners have had a Racing Post Rating no higher than 117 and one of only two horses to fit this criteria here is Eye Of The Storm (7/1).
Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old not only gets a weight-for-age allowance, but he won impressively when stepped up to 2m for the first time at the Curragh last month. There could be more to come, given he remains unexposed over the trip.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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