Shergar Cup preview: Final Venture can Dash to glory at AscotPublished on: August 8, 2019Author: David Metcalf
Final Venture has some strong form to his name and posted a series of solid efforts this season, so at 7/1 with BetVictor looks decent value in the Shergar Cup Dash over 5f at Ascot on Saturday (13:05).
This Paul Midgley trained seven-year-old has been a grand servant over the years, winning eight times and finishing runner-up in two Listed contests won by Take Cover.
Having been rated as high as 112, the son of Equiano is now able to race off what looks a very workable mark of 103.
That is 3lb lower than when chasing home Soffia in a Listed contest at Naas two starts back where he kept on well to be beaten 1 1/2 lengths.
The winner, to whom he was conceding 4lb, is an ultra-progressive filly who has won twice since.
After landing a Group 3 at The Curragh, the Ed Lynam trained four-year-old ran out a very impressive winner of the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at the same venue when beating El Astronaute by 3 1/2 lengths to be rated 115.
That gives the form a very strong look in relation to this lower grade class 2 handicap.
Final Venture has since run well to finish a length runner-up to Ornate in a conditions contest.
He clearly retains plenty of ability, and a repeat of his run behind Soffia would make him very difficult to beat in this.
Midgely is also in fine form and operating at a strike rate of 26 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, so Final Venture has lots going for him in a wide-open affair.
Mandarin up for Shergar Cup Challenge
Mandarin is a handicapper on an upward curve, so looks to hold outstanding claims of landing the hat-trick in the 1m 4f Shergar Cup Challenge (14:15).
After forging clear to beat Hats Off To Larry by three lengths at Windsor, this Ian Williams trained five-year-old made light of a 5lb rise in the weights to follow-up in fine style at Newmarket eight days ago.
Under a confident ride from Adam Kirby, the son of Lope De Vega raced close-up on the heels of the leaders, before taking it up inside the final furlong
Mandarin then quickened up smartly to easily beat Past by 2 1/2 lengths and was value for much more than the winning margin.
He is clearly in the form of his life and connections have wisely decided to turn him out quickly under a 6lb penalty.
Judged on the manner of his last success, that’s highly unlikely to be enough to stop Mandarin going in again.
He is also 1-1 over the 1m 4f trip of this, so – at 4/1 with Betway – looks the one to be on for a yard that has done well with its runners at the Berkshire venue this season.
Zwayyan weighted to go well in Mile
In the Shergar Cup Mile (14:50), the Andrew balding trained Zwayyan makes plenty of appeal at the 7/1 on offer with Betfred.
This King Power Racing owned six-year-old has a good record over course and distance, having won once and placed twice from five starts.
He ran very well in this 12 months ago when a keeping on 1 1/4 lengths third to Via Serendipity off a mark of 95, before going on to score at Chelmsford.
Zwayyan then finished a solid second over course and distance off 98, and looked as good as ever on seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton when winning off 97.
The son of Pivotal was also far from disgraced last time out – again over course and distance – when an eight-length 16th of 28 to Affak in the Royal Hunt Cup off 100 following a break.
This is less competitive and Zwayyan is able to race in it off 2lb lower.
A revised rating of 98 gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective on the pick of his form.
Blinkers, in which he has a strike rate of 22 per cent, now go on for the first time this season.
So, taking everything into account, Zwayyan looks to have more going for him than his odds would suggest and weighted to run a huge race.
Magical Wish appeals each-way in Shergar Cup Sprint
Now dropped back in trip, Magical Wish makes plenty of each-way appeal in the 6f Shergar Cup Sprint (16:00).
After resuming winnings ways at Lingfield on his second start this season, this Richard Hannon trained three-year-old ran very well in a hot class 2 handicap over 7f at York when a 5 1/2 lengths sixth of 19 to the Space Blues off his current mark of 91.
The winner is an ultra-progressive sort who has since won a Listed race, finished a head runner-up in the Group 2 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and a fine three-length second to subsequent Sussex Stakes winner Too Darn Hot in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
That gives the form a strong look. Magical Wish went on to finish a fine staying on, never nearer 2 1/4 lengths third of 19 to Recon Mission over the 6f trip of this back at York.
The son of Heerat also ran well in defeat at Sandown when finding only Make A Wish a neck too good.
Magical Wish shaped a bit better than the bare result suggests when a 4 1/2 lengths 12th of 20 to Pass The Vino at Newmarket.
Although not so good at the Galway Festival six days ago when 10th of 16 to Laughifyouwant, that race was over 7f and better can be expected of him now dropped back in trip.
On his run behind Space Blues, who was a length third to Advertise in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, a mark of 97 should not be beyond Magical Wish. He appeals as the type that may well have more to offer.
So, at a standout 14/1 with BetVictor, Magical Wish features as an each-way punt that completes this Shergar Cup preview.