Class will be key

The Last Drop can make his class tell in the Woodcote Stud Sagaro Stakes at Ascot today.

The Last Drop can make his class tell in the Woodcote Stud Sagaro Stakes at Ascot today.

Runner-up to impressive winner Sixties Icon in the St Leger last season, the Barry Hills-trained colt should be more than capable of holding his own at Group Three level.

While 20-1 chance Mount Kilimanjaro spoiled the party on the four-year-old's return to action, there was plenty of encouragement to be taken from his fast-finishing second in what was a keenly-contested race. The son of Galileo was tapped for toe when the pace suddenly quickened but stuck on gamely to suggest he has retained all of his enthusiasm.

He steps into unknown territory when tackling two miles for the first time today, but this stamina-laden type is confidently expected to see out the trip.

Cesare is tipped to make a winning reappearance in the Britain's Got Talent Paradise Stakes.

James Fanshawe's charge returns to the scene of his greatest triumph and will take all the beating if able to reproduce the form that saw him lift the ultra-competitive Royal Hunt Cup last summer.

Outpointing 29 rivals to land the spoils over course and distance in June underlined Cesare's abundant talent and this looks a reasonably moderate event by Listed standards.

Hoh Mike is another fancied to get his season off to a flyer when he contests the Listed Pavilion Stakes.

Following an impressive double in May last year, the Intikhab colt subsequently made the frame in some hot company without really going on as his handler would have liked.

However, a second to dual Group One winner and Stan James 2000 Guineas hopeful Dutch Art reads well and Hoh Mike will be hard to live with if Michael Bell has him ready to rock first time up. Sir Michael Stoute has a tremendous strike-rate with his runners at Pontefract in recent years and should enhance it further with Manaal, who runs in the Ladbrokes Fillies' Handicap.

Having run out an impressive winner on her sole juvenile start at Brighton in October, she relished the step up to a mile when landing the "Cock O' The North" Handicap at Ripon last month.

Although still looking a bit inexperienced that day, she displayed a very game attitude to get her head in front and there should be plenty more to come.

The assessor has added 5lb to make her task a little harder but the hat-trick awaits.

Today's saraband selections

ascot: 2.10 Major Eazy, 2.45 Alovera, 3.20 Cesare, 3.55 The Last Drop (nap), 4.30 Hoh Mike, 5.05 Hassaad.

PONTEFRACT: 2.20 Barraland, 2.55 Officer, 3.30 Apsara, 4.05 Manaal, 4.40 My Secrets, 5.15 Sin City.

KEMPTON: 5.45 Salsadar, 6.20 Color Man, 6.55 Hazytoo, 7.30 Ochre, 8.05 Laith, 8.35 Lavenham, 9.05 Tip Toes.

NOTTINGHAM: 2.00 Tombi, 2.35 Muara, 3.10 Brut, 3.45 Rare Coincidence, 4.20 Hostage, 4.55 Classira, 5.30 Small Fortune, 6.00 Keidas.

CHELTENHAM: 5.20 Minella Silver, 5.55 Cannon Bridge, 6.30 Bon Accord, 7.05 The Kings Fling, 7.40 No Retreat, 8.15 Imps Way.

DOUBLE: The Last Drop and Cesare.


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