The Duke’s Weekend Preview

Last weekend was packed full of excitement with Enable winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. She is a fabulous filly and will undoubtedly win Horse of the Year.

Frankie Dettori recorded a fifth victory in Europe’s most coveted race and in doing so became the most successful jockey in Arc history.

This weekend we concentrate back on British turf, with some good races at Newmarket and Ascot.

We’ll start with a Group 1 race at Newmarket; the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes. It makes sense to begin with the dream duo of Messrs Gosden and Dettori – they team up with Persuasive, who was a solid third in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. She’s an improving filly and maybe she’ll take a hand here, but at the odds she looks a bit short.

Roly Poly needs the ground to stay Good or better and if it does she has a big chance as she won two Group 1s over the summer. Aljazzi won really nicely in a Group 3 race at Sandown last time but this is significantly tougher.

The two that make most appeal at the prices are Qemah and Siyoushake. Qemah seems to go well on any ground and if it softens up at all, she won the Coronation Stakes on Good to Soft ground at Royal Ascot last year. She has a touch of class on her day and I think she may be able to reverse form with Roly Poly who beat her in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville in the summer.

Qemah gets the vote, but for each-way backers I’d highlight Siyoushake, who has only had four races this season (one race each month in May, June July and August). She’s run with credit in big races this season and should be a relatively fresh horse compared to some of her rivals who have had long seasons. Qemah for the win and Siyoushake each-way.

The big betting race of the weekend is the 3.35pm totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot.

Makzeem won really well at Newmarket a week ago and despite a penalty is 2lbs well in. Mojito is in even better form having notched up a hat-trick for trainer William Haggas. He’s up 9lb for his latest win at York which may just halt the winning sequence.

Straight Right, Withernsea and Raising Sand are others who could play a part having all run creditably in similar big handicaps.

Mitchum Swagger looks interesting being 3lbs below his 3rd in last year’s Royal Hunt Cup. They clearly think the world of him, having run him in Group 1 races and this may just be the opportunity he needs to regain the winning thread. He’ll have no issues with the ground and 22/1 is a lovely price.

The other bet I’ll have in the race is on Mijack. He’s progressive, nearly recorded a win at Ascot last time out, and was a valiant runner-up in a big heritage handicap at the course in July. At 12/1 he should also be involved.

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