The Italian Tourist Board Festival of Food and Wine Weekend looks set to feature a host of exciting contests as we head into the closing stages of the 2018 Flat season.
 
On Friday the 7f Charbonnel et Walker British EBF Maiden Stakes at 2.05pm looks an exceptional race for its kind on paper with an 11 runner field.
 
Of the unraced horses, God Has Given for the China Horse Club could be the pick of the bunch as Richard Hannon's 350,000gns yearling has a Derby entry. Murray River and Bangkok are both by Derby winner Australia while Prince Eiji stands out as a Dubawi colt out of Izzi Top. Frankel colt Fox Vardy was a 210,000gns yearling and runs in the King Power Racing colours of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who has six runners with us across the two days.
 
The 4.20pm Weatherbys Handicap Stakes includes Mark Johnston’s record breaking winner at York, Poet’s Society, while Ascot regular Shady McCoy is also in the race with Ryan Moore on board. It could be a stellar day for Moore who rides four well fancied runners on the seven race card.
 
Saturday’s feature is the 1m4f £100,000 Lavazza Handicap Stakes with the field of 11 headed by two sons of Frankel – First Eleven and Midi. The latter has won his two starts this year and is out of multiple Group One winning mare Midday while First Eleven has had a consistent season and competed in Group company last time out. The reliable Berkshire Royal brings the strongest form into the race though and he shouldn’t be far away.
 
The £80,000 Cunard Handicap Stakes over 7f at 2.45pm has attracted a full field of 20 including formerly high-class Cardsharp who tops the weights as well as 2017 Royal Hunt Cup winner Zhui Feng and this year’s Victoria Cup winner Ripp Orf.
 
The Royal Ascot Racing Club horse, Production looks to follow up his debut win at the track in July when he runs in the opening 7f Italian Tourist Board British EBF Novice Stakes at 1.35pm. The form of that race was boosted when Almania won at Sandown last weekend and although he has to carry a penalty for that win, he should go close again.

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