The Cunard Handicap at Ascot (2.45) is our port of call this week, and two stand out, the attractively priced KIMIFIVE and top weight and track specialist TABARRAK.

Plenty of these ran in a valuable handicap at Goodwood in which Tabarrak chased home Salute The Soldier. That was a messy affair with no shortage of hard luck stories but the form is working out well. Oh This Is Us came out of that race and won nicely for us in a fairly hot contest at Chester last Saturday. 

Kimifive was running from a wide draw which never suits at Goodwood and, having been settled at the back, was trying to make up ground into a field where the main players were quickening up at the front. Considering all the traffic issues and confusion his eventual sixth placing may disguise how good an effort it was under the circumstances as he was only beaten a length and a half.

The handicapper doesn’t miss much yet he has dropped Kimifive a pound, which leaves him now 4 lbs. better off with Salute The Soldier and 3 lbs. with Tabarrak. With Vale Of Kent now an absentee, there may not be much pace in the early stages which will suit Kimifive. He loves fast ground and this seven furlongs is probably his best trip now. He won nicely at Goodwood earlier this season and notably finished second to Golden Mile winner Beat Le Bon off a pound higher mark in July. All things considered he looks very attractively priced.

Tabarrak ran a blinder in that Goodwood race where he just failed to reel in Salute The Soldier. Perhaps he should have been unleashed a bit earlier in the race but no question once he saw daylight he certainly cut loose. He looks a bit too classy for handicaps and has to carry the considerable burden of 9-10 here. 

Yet it says a lot that Richard Hannon is not using a claimer so he is obviously confident enough that he has been fairly assessed. Track, trip and ground look ideal, and he is a class act in this company having won four times at Listed level and he was also a neck second in a Group 3. Rossa Ryan has won ten times this season for Hannon and the combination looked poised for further success here. A good draw in stall nine is the cherry on top and he can reverse placings with Salute The Soldier.

Favourites have a poor record in this but Ripp Orf has scored twice over track and trip and was just touched off last time out at Newbury. Escobar,  while running well, has seem a bit stretched by a mile in his last two outings at York and Goodwood and dropping back a furlong will certainly suit now. But Kimifive and Tabarrack make most appeal.

ASCOT 14:45

 1/2 Point Each Way Tabarrak (8/1 generally, look for bookies paying 5 places) 

1/2 Point Each Way Kimifive (20/1 William Hill, paying 5 places) 

Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing

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