Ascot preview: Cape Byron the bet in Bengough Stakes

Published on: October 3, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Our 2019 Bengough Stakes preview says Royal Ascot winner Cape Byron can score at the venue again

Cape Byron has an excellent record at Ascot, so now eased in grace is strongly fancied to further enhance it with victory in the 6f Group 3 Bengough Stakes there on Saturday (15:40).

This Roger Varian trained five-year-old has won three times and been placed once in six starts at the Berkshire venue.

He is also lightly-raced for his age having won four of his 15 starts, and has taken his form to a new level this season.

After he only needed driving out on return to action when cosily beat Kynren by a neck in the valuable 7f Victoria Cup at this venue, Cape Byron followed up in good style over course and distance when landing the 26-runner Wokingham Handicap.

He showed a smart turn of foot to account for Tis Marvellous by 1 1/2 lengths. That impressive success saw Cape Byron sent off a well-backed 6/1 shot for the Group 1 July Cup over 6f at Newmarket.

As he raced too freely, he then weakened to finish 11th of 12 to Ten Sovereigns.

The son of Shamardal has had just one start since and that saw him finish a solid keeping on two-length third to Shine So Bright in a Group 2 over 7f at York.

Speak In Colours, who finished a length behind him in third, has since come out and landed a Group 3 at The Curragh. That gives the form a solid look in relation to this lower grade affair.

Cape Byron is also the highest rated in the line-up off an official rating of 113. He also has 5lb and upwards in hand his nine rivals.

At 11/4 with BetVictor, he’s the one to be on in the Bengough Stakes.

Dakota looks pure Gold in Rous Stakes

In the Listed 5f Rous Stakes that get proceedings underway on a cracking card (14:00), Dakota Gold looks a worthy 11/4 favourite with Coral to resume winnings ways now dropped back in grade.

This Michael Dods trained five-year-old has been in the form of his life and won four of his six starts this season.

After shaping with promise on return to action when fifth in the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle, the son of Equiano gamely landed a competitive 15-runner affair at York on soft ground when beating Musicka by half-a-length.

Dakota Gold then followed-up in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon, where he made all under regular pilot Connor Beasley and scored easily by 2 1/4 lengths.

It was a dominant display, and he made light of a 5lb penalty when turned out quickly landing a 22-runner class 2 contest at York’s Ebor Festival meeting.

Dakota Gold then took the step up into Listed company in his stride when readily beatring Danzeno by 1 3/4 lengths at the same venue, before finding only Maid In India too good when beaten half-a-length in the Group 3 at Newbury last time out.

This represents a return to calmer waters, while another plus is that hd once again has the soft ground that he relishes.

Dakota Gold is also the top-rated in the 11-runner line-up, so there is simply nothing not to like about his profile for this.

Sextant odds appeal in Cumberland Lodge

The progressive Sextant looks cracking value at 15/2 with Paddy Power to take the step back up into Group 3 company in his stride and land the spoils in the 1m 4f Cumberland Lodge Stakes (14:35).

This four-year-old gelding is owned by The Queen and trained by the in-form Sir Michael Stoute. Sextant has won four of his six starts this season. Two of those successes have come in decent handicaps over this course and distance.

The son of Sea The Stars quickly bounced back from a disappointing effort when a well -beaten fourth at this level around Newbury in a race won by Technician when landing the Listed 1m 4f Stands Cup last time out at Chester.

After tracking the leader travelling well, Sextant challenged two from home before staying on strongly inside the last to account for Epsom Oaks fourth Manuela De Vega by a length.

He was well on top at the finish and value for more than the winning margin.

The form also looks strong, as the runner-up had previously ran well to finish a 2 3/4 lengths third to subsequent St Leger runner-up Sir Ron Priestley in a Group 3 at Goodwood.

Sextant is clearly thriving and a looks a typical improver for the yard who has even more to offer.

Louis Steward, who partnered him that day, is also once again in the saddle and is a perfect three from three rides.

An official rating of 108 also gives Sextant just 1lb to find with the favourite Morando on adjusted figures.

That rival is a fully-exposed six-year-old who has already reached his peak.

So, at the odds on offer, Sextant looks way overpriced and simply had to be the selection in what is a decent renewal of the Cumberland Lodge on Bengough Stakes day.