Friday's Gazette horse racing selections: Ghost of a smile for Ascot punters

Ascot stages a meeting on Friday
Ascot stages a meeting on Friday
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Ghostwatch can deliver for Godolphin in Ascot’s Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes.

The Listed event for three-year-old stayers has attracted an eight-strong field of plausible contenders.

But none is more so than Charlie Appleby’s charge, with whom regular jockey William Buick appears to get on especially well.

The pair certainly clicked in York’s Melrose Handicap over this same trip when Ghostwatch ground out a game victory on his first start since being gelded in mid-summer.

He is closely-matched on that running at the Ebor Festival meeting with the reopposing Mekong.

Sir Michael Stoute’s colt went off favourite that day but could get no closer than a two-length fourth.

Conceding 1lb then and back at level weights here, Ghostwatch has since bumped into First Eleven and was no match for him over a shorter trip at this track.

A one-time Derby entry, however, Ghostwatch is shaping as though he can repay plenty more of his £2million-plus yearling price-tag whenever stamina is key - and this looks a handy place to start.

In the preceding Original Harrogate Water Handicap, Aljady may reward investment too.

Richard Fahey’s colt began his career with a northern hat-trick over this six-furlong distance.

Up to seven for his first foray south in a Goodwood handicap at the end of August, Aljady appeared to get the trip fine but had to settle for sixth - beaten less than three lengths.

Connections clearly believe the drop back will be no impediment, and Aljady can prove he is on a winning mark in just his second handicap.

Wolverhampton provides the evening entertainment, and punters can strike an early blow with Masquerade Bling in the opening race, division one of the Banks’s Amber Bitter Handicap.

Neil Mulholland’s four-year-old has had a short break since his successful trip to Jersey put him on this hat-trick bid.

Before then, he overcame trouble in running to score here and may still be on an upward curve.

Over jumps, Gary Moore’s Antony used to operate successfully from a much higher rating and may be able to get his new campaign off on the right foot in the James Todd & Co Ltd Handicap Chase at Fontwell.

The eight-year-old is twice a winner over this figure-of-eight chase course - including last spring - and will like the forecast good ground.


ASCOT: 1.50 Game Player, 2.25 Blue Mist, 3.00 Aljady, 3.35 GHOSTWATCH (NAP), 4.10 African Jazz, 4.45 Rum Runner.

DUNDALK: 6.00 Never No More, 6.30 Dubai Rainbow, 7.00 Chernish, 7.30 No Needs Never, 8.00 Belle Boyd, 8.30 Darvie, 9.00 Tooreen Katie.

FONTWELL: 2.05 Monday Club, 2.40 Ennistown, 3.15 Sixties Secret, 3.50 Antony, 4.25 Rolling Maul, 5.00 Tara Mac.

GOWRAN PARK: 1.55 Panther Soul, 2.30 Rare Conor, 3.05 Wild Desire, 3.40 Good Thyne Tara, 4.15 Jack Fiasco, 4.50 Thisonesforollie, 5.20 Run For Mary.

HEXHAM: 2.15 Present In Court, 2.50 Isle of Destiny, 3.25 Hillary View, 4.00 Alfie’s Choice, 4.35 Jaunty Thor, 5.10 Aquarian.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Masquerade Bling, 6.15 Brockey Rise, 6.45 What Will Be, 7.15 Concello, 7.45 Done Deal, 8.15 Mrs Burbidge, 8.45 Jacko, 9.15 Retribution.