Ascot Challenge Cup betting tips: Cape Byron the number one choice in cavalry charge

Cape Byron, Il Primo Sole and Raising Sand feature among potential each-way punts for Horsebetting.com experts in the ultra-competitive Ascot Challenge Cup on Saturday, 6 October. The Roger Varian trained Cape Byron has posted some cracking efforts of late, so is the main selection for the valuable 7f Heritage Handicap. Il Primo Sole is a lightly-raced sort with a touch of class and looks capable of going close on the pick of his form. Raising Sand ran very well in the race 12 months ago when third, so looks weighted to make another bold bid. For full details on these horses’ chances, read our in-depth 2018 Ascot Challenge Cup betting tips preview.

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Odds
13/2
Selection
Cape Byron
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Betfair logo
Odds
8/1
Danger
Il Primo Sole
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Boylesports logo
Odds
12/1
E/W
Raising Sand
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Cape Byron up for the Challenge Cup

Cape Byron has been knocking on the door of late, so looks worth a bet to gain a deserved big race success in the Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday (15:35) – a valuable 7f Heritage Handicap run on the straight course in which a field of 18 are set to go to post.

This Roger Varian trained four year-old has won twice and been placed four times in 10 starts. The last of those successes came over 1m at this venue 13 months ago and there has been lots to like about his last three runs in very hot handicaps.

In the first of those he ran a stormer from an unfavourable wide draw when a length fourth of 17 to Senority in the Golden Mile at Goodwood. After being dropped in at the rear, the son of Shamardal made good headway two from home and kept on strongly to be gaining all the way to the line off a mark of 98.

Cape Byron backed that up with a similar effort at the same venue off 2lb higher when a keeping on 1 3/4 lengths second of 17 to Flaming Spear in another ultra-competitive affair over 7f. He is now set to meet the winner on 3lb better terms, so that ought to be enough to see him turn the tables.

The gelding also lost little in defeat last time out in the 20-runner Cunard Handicap over this course and distance when finishing well and going down by just half-a-length to Ripp Orf. He now enjoys a 2lb weight pull with that re-opposing rival, so is handicapped to come out on top on this occasion.

All the aforementioned efforts suggests that Cape Byron has the ability to land a big pot like this off his current rating of 103. Given his run-style he will need the gaps to appear at the right time, but granted luck in-running he looks sure to be bang there at the business affairs.

So, taking all that into account, he looks a solid each-way punt in a race on which some bookmakers will be offering enhanced place terms. Thus Cape Byron had to be the main selection in our 2018 Ascot Challenge Cup betting tips.

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Il Primo Sole a fascinating Gosden contender

In a typically fierce and wide-open renewal where a case can be made for many, the lightly-raced Il Primo Sole is one of the more fascinating contenders and looks capable of a big run on the pick of his form. This John Gosden trained son of Raven’s Pass has only had seven starts, winning twice.

Both those successes came over the 7f trip of this and, after making a winning return to action at Kempton, the three-year-old was far from disgraced when pitched into Group 1 company. Il Primo Sole finished a 5 1/4 lengths eight of 11 to Olmedo in the French 2000 Guineas over 1m at Longchamp, where he made headway to hold every chance a furlong and a half from home before fading approaching the last.

He then ran very well over 1m here when when again fading late on to finish a 2 1/2 lengths fifth of 30 to Ostilio in the Britannia Stakes at the royal meeting in June off a mark of 102. On the back of that, Il Primo Sole was sent off a heavily-backed 7/1 second favourite for the International Stakes over course and distance last time out.

However, he sweated up badly beforehand and after racing prominently faded badly two furlongs from home to trail in a distant 22nd of 27 to Burnt Sugar. Il Primo Sole’s pre-race antics spoilt his chances, so he can be forgiven a run which was too bad to be true, and connections have since been given a break to freshen-up.

That looks shrewd move by Gosden given that he won first time up as a juvenile as well on seasonal reappearance. Il Primo Sole clearly goes well fresh and a handicap mark of 103 should not be beyond him.

He has a touch of class and providing he behaves in the preliminaries looks a leading contender. We therefore had to include him among our 2018 Ascot Challenge Cup betting tips and potential each-way punts for this fiendishly hard to solve puzzle.

Raising Sand weighted to go well

Of those at slightly bigger odds, Raising Sand is another well worth considering each-way. Trained by Jamie Osborne, the six-year-old’s last success came at this venue over a mile and he also ran very well in the Cunard Handicap over this course and distance 13 months ago when a fast-finishing 1 3/4 lengths fourth of 17 to Remarkable off a mark of 98, having forfeited vital ground when dwelling at the start.

Raising Sand went on to round off the campaign with a fine 1 1/4 lengths third of 18 in this contest to subsequent Group 1 winner Accidental Agent. As a result, he started off this season on a rating of 100 and has failed to trouble the judge in five starts.

However, he was far from disgraced when keeping on to finish a never nearer four-length seventh of 30 to handicap blot Settle For Bay in the Royal Hunt Cup over 1m here back in June, and in this year’s renewal of the Cunard when a keeping on 3 1/4 lengths eighth of 20 to Ripp Orf.

Raising Sand also ran well in last week’s Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket when eight of 33 to Wissahickon and is now able to race in this off 1lb lower. A revised rating of 97 is 1lb lower than when third in this 12 months ago, so that gives him every chance from a handicapping perspective at a track he runs well.

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