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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Contango bidding to boost World order in penultimate leg

Andrew Balding: trainer of the unbeaten Contango
1 of 1

3.25 Ascot
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic (handicap) | 1m4f, 3yo | ITV4/RUK

The penultimate event features the unbeaten Contango, who is likely to go off favourite. The Andrew Balding-trained colt is three from three and up 10lb for the 11-length demolition of his rivals at Newmarket last time. Kerrin McEvoy takes the ride for the Rest Of The World team.

Hold your thoughts

Contango won't have it all his own way, however, and beaten Glorious Goodwood favourite Hold Sway holds strong form claims. Hayley Turner is on Charlie Appleby's three-year-old and the more the ground dries out the better.

Half and half

Half of the field will be taking on the 1m4f trip for the first time, including favourite Contango. However, out of the five to already attempt the mile and a half, only Kasperenko has managed to win at the distance. Glenys The Menace, Bear Valley and Reachforthestars have all since dropped back in distance.

Trainer plus point

Mark Johnston is not scared of targeting a valuable pot and has a good record in this race, winning it twice since 2010. The Middleham trainer runs Bear Valley this year and Fran Berry takes the ride for Great Britain and Ireland.

What they say

David Lanigan, trainer of Kasperenko
He's in good form but we'd prefer the ground to keep drying out. He hacked up last time at Doncaster over this trip and is a very straightforward horse. There's not much else for him at this time of the year so this looked a good target.

Andrew Balding, trainer of Contango
He's unbeaten but steps up in class here as well as markedly in the weights. The ground should be in his favour and the extra two furlongs is another unknown.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to Mark Johnston, trainer of Bear Valley
He ran better than the bare result at Goodwood and was stuck very wide for the entire race. We'd hope his standout bit of form from Royal Ascot over this trip can help bring him back to his best and he shouldn't be far away in that case. We're also happy to have Fran Berry on board, who has ridden for us plenty of times.

John Best, trainer of Glenys The Menace
She's in strong form at the moment and raced well at Sandown on Thursday. She's better than we could have expected afterwards and was bouncing around the field the next day.

Clive Cox, trainer of Italian Heiress
She was beaten in a photo at Leicester last time and we're now looking forward to seeing her at twelve furlongs. She gave us the impression a step up would suit and the forecast soft ground will be of benefit.

Heather Main, trainer of Rake’s Progress
He's been staying on very nicely in his races and his pedigree suggests this trip shouldn't be an issue. He'll be very happy on the surface and appears good value at the prices.

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She gave us the impression a step up would suit and the forecast soft ground will be of benefit
E.W. Terms
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