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Global Village tipped to beat county rival Brae Hill at Ascot
Brae Hill, winner of the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster’s opening meeting for Richard Fahey heads to Ascot today in a bid to try to add the £85,000 Betfred Victoria Cup to his tally.
However, the Malton gelding faces a stern test from another horse who has made an identical journey from the same corner of North Yorkshire.
Global Village, trained by Brian Ellison at Norton, is fancied to have the edge over Brae Hill in this super-competitive handicap, which has attracted a 24-strong field.
A winner at Leicester two starts back, Global Village was teamed up with Paul Hanagan on his latest outing in the Newbury Spring Cup and ran a blinder to finish third.
He is set to receive 11lb from Brae Hill, whose narrow success over Mull Of Killough in the Lincoln followed on from him finishing second in the same race 12 months earlier. He is a tough and hardened handicapper, who also won the Bunbury Cup last year at Newmarket.
Brae Hill finished fourth in last year’s Victoria Cup. He may again have to settle for a supporting role this afternoon.
Global Village may be the one to pick up the pieces.
Ellison has another good chance on the card, courtesy of Certral in the Bovis Homes Fillies’ Handicap.
The four-year-old shaped well on her re-appearance at Nottingham last month when finishing second after meeting trouble in running. More will be required in this £45,000 event, but Certral is open to plenty of progression.
There could be yet another North Yorkshire winner at Ascot through Hototo, trained by Kevin Ryan, in the McGee Group Maiden Stakes.
The juvenile made an eye- catching debut at Musselburgh last week. Hampered and knocked back to last place early on, Hototo picked up ground with a vengeance entering the final furlong and, remarkably, got up to finish a close third to Tatlisu. He should have learned plenty from that experience and, provided none of the newcomers are above average, he must have a great chance of opening his account. Jimmy Fortune has been booked for the ride.
Aiken will be a popular choice in the hands of Ryan Moore in the John Doyle Buckhounds Stakes.
Trained by John Gosden at Newmarket, Aiken won his final two starts last season and picked up where he left off in the Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom last month. He now steps up to Listed company, but this progressive perfomer looks more than capable of scoring again.
Moore can also score on the promising Sir Maximilian (1.45) for Ed Dunlop, while also worth noting is Lordofthehouse (5.40), a triple-winner last season for William Haggas, who returns to action in the concluding contest and looks a horse to follow this summer.
It’s jumping action all the way tomorrow and at Worcester, Paul Nicholls has good prospects of a double. The champion trainer can score with Oscarslad (3.50) and Easter Day (4.50).
Oscarslad, a winner at Wincanton two starts back, was far from disgraced when fourth at Bangor on his latest start when he was only run out of it from the penultimate flight. There is surely more to come from him.
Easter Day, who contests the closing bumper, is napped to come out on top.
1.45 Sir Maximilian, 2.20 Aiken, 2.50 Certral, 3.25 Global Village, 4.00 Hototo, 4.35 Rothesay Chancer, 5.10 Bunce, 5.40 Lordofthehouse.
Today’s other meetings: Haydock, Lingfield, Nottingham and Thirsk. Hexham was abandoned.
2.20 Keep Kicking, 2.50 Reste Gosse, 3.20 Quousko de L’Isop, 3.50 Oscarslad, 4.20 Specialagent Alfie, 4.50 Easter Day (NAP).
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Plumpton and Uttoxeter.