The weekend’s racing began with a competitive card on Friday and we now look towards Saturday's exciting action.
Saturday’s feature race is the £100,000 Appletiser Handicap, restricted to three-year-olds and run over a mile-and-a-half. Danehill Kodiac provided visiting South African jockey Gavin Larena with one of two winners on Shergar Cup Day. He is back on Saturday and faces the second on his last visit - Combative
Races like the Appletiser Handicap fall just below the Pattern and Listed schedule, and are not given a Group Status. However, the most important races of this type are called “Heritage Handicaps.”
As handicaps, horses compete based on their rating – weight is allocated as determined by prior performance. Put simply in the case of the two horses mentioned above, Danehill Kodiac beat Combative by two lengths here last time. Therefore, to theoretically even things out, this time around Combative will be 4lb better off with Danehill Kodiac.
These adjustments happen throughout the whole field in all handicaps, which is why these races attract big fields, which are highly appealing to punters as there are so many horses in the race with a chance.
The Queen has two runners on Saturday; the unraced Frontispiece in the Sodexo Maiden (race 1) and Labyrinth in the Ritz Club Fillies’ Handicap (race 6), both trained by Sir Michael Stoute.
Away from Ascot, the big race of the day on Saturday is the Sprint Cup at Haydock, a Group One over six furlongs. Amongst the runners are the Commonwealth Cup winner, Quiet Reflection. She faces her subsequent July Cup (Newmarket) conqueror Limato ahead of a potential run back at Ascot in the Group One sprint on QIPCO British Champions Day. The race will be shown on Ascot TV and interleaved into the race card, as we do for all major “away” races.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Communications
Tickets are available on the door or to print at home from £20.