With only one market leader since 1986 obliging, there is plenty of value to be had in the Ascot Gold Cup and one runner who certainly catches the eye is Hugo Palmer’s Khubala at 16/1.
On his last run, he finished sixth place in a Group 2 at Baden-baden but was far from disgraced in a strong race despite stepping up in class.
The conditions were far from ideal for George Baker’s mount too, with little cut in the ground and limited cover. With 11 of the last 12 winners of the Gold Cup having failed to land their last race, it should not put backers off too much.
Prior to that run he had performed with credit all season in a number of profitable handicaps. Making the frame in the Wokingham Stakes under the guidance of Frankie Dettori, he found himself on the stands’ side rail and finished first of his group of six. If switched to the main group early, like the eventual winner did, he may have run a truer race and even pushed for first.
He then went on to finish third of 20 in a Class 2 handicap at York before finishing fourth in a listed event at Chester. That sort of consistency will certainly attract each-way backers.
And while Palmer is yet to land Scottish flat racing’s most lucrative event, he certainly knows what it takes to win big handicaps at this level and is in very good form. In September alone he has won over £32,000 worth of handicap prize money, including two Class 2s at Doncaster and in that sort of form it is difficult to discount any of his runners going into this race.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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