‘Deadly’ Double, Thursday, June 30

‘Deadly’ Double, Thursday, June 30 In the 2.30 at Haydock on Thursday, Miss Infinity can initiate a double for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning. The Middleham Moor trainer has already had 38 juvenile winners this season, at a strike rate of 26%, and Miss Infinity made all to win convincingly at Ayr 12 days ago. She carries a 6lb penalty for that success and, as a daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar, slower underfoot conditions are a slight worry, but she was only beaten 2 lengths by a subsequent Listed winner over course and distance on her racecourse debut earlier this month and looks a smart prospect.

In the 4.30 at Haydock, Regal Monarch steps up in class and distance, but won with any amount in hand over 1 mile 5 furlongs, on soft going, on the July Course at Newmarket last week and looks well treated under a 6lb penalty. The Notnowcato gelding has made excellent progress this season, winning three of his five starts and officially improving by 2l1b already, but may not have finished yet. Two of his three wins have come on soft going, so any rain in the North West shouldn’t do his chances any harm.

Selections: Haydock 2.30 Miss Infinity, Haydock 4.30 Regal Monarch, 1-point Win Double

‘Deadly’ Double, Wednesday, June 22

‘Deadly’ Double, Wednesday, June 22

Self praise is no recommendation, we know, but we do hope that you latched onto last week’s winning patent (Usherette 9/4, Portage 10/1 and Persuasive 11/4), which generated a profit of 234.25 points. Anyway, Wednesday sees the running of the historic Carlisle Bell (3.35) and the Carlisle Bell Consolation (3.00) so, while we’re in form, we’ve had a crack at another long odds double.

In the 3.00, Just Be Lucky finished a close fourth behind subsequent winner Ice Slice at Nottingham three starts ago and has since improved to win at Haydock and Wetherby. The Intense Focus gelding steps up in class off a 5lb higher mark, but is clearly going the right way and may be capable of completing a hat-trick. First-time blinkers are a slight worry, but Ivan Furtado has a decent strike rate with his older horses this season and can score with his first ever runner at the Cumbrian course.

In the 3.35, Alexandrakollontai won convincingly over a testing 7 furlongs at Leicester in May and was far from disgraced when a never-nearer fourth of eight, beaten 2½ lengths, behind Final Venture over 6 furlongs at Hamilton two weeks ago off his revised mark. The Amadeus Wolf mare remains on a career-high mark, but looks far from impossibly handicapped and should give us a good run for our money.

Selections: Carlisle 3.00 Just Be Lucky, Carlisle 3.35 Alexandrakollontai, 1-Point Win Double

‘Parlous’ Patent, Wednesday, June 15

‘Parlous’ Patent, Wednesday, June 15 Royal Ascot isn’t really the place to go hunting for doubles and trebles but, frankly, we couldn’t resist the prospect of a large return for a small outlay. We have, however, listened to our inner voice and included singles this week, just so a decent-priced winner doesn’t go unbacked.

In the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (3.40), we like Usherette, whose sole defeat in six career starts came in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville last August. Andre Fabre’s filly reversed that form with Amazing Maria when staying on well to beat Arabian Queen in the Dahlia Stakes, over 1 mile furlong, on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket on May Day and a repeat performance could be good enough.

In the Royal Hunt Cup (5.00), Portage won over course and distance on soft going last summer and, although 15lb higher in the weights this time, subsequently ran creditably in defeat off his revised mark in the Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh and the Cambridgeshire proper at Newmarket. He proved his well-being when winning a Listed race, over 1 mile 2 furlongs, at the Curragh on his reappearance 11 days ago. A 5lb penalty for that success makes life more difficult, of course, but he hasn’t done much racing for a four-year-old and may still be open to improvement.

In the Sandringham Handicap (5.35), Persuasive won at Chelmsford two weeks ago in the style of a rapidly improving filly and can maintain her 100% record. The daughter of Dark Angel takes another step up in class off an 8lb higher mark, but she still falls into the ‘could be anything’ category after just three starts and could easily be up to the task.

Her sole turf win came on good going but if, like many of the progeny of Dark Angel, she is fully effective on soft ground, she must take some beating.

Selections: Ascot 3.40 Usherette, Ascot 5.00 Portage, Ascot 5.35 Persuasive, 1-point Win Patent