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Racing anoraks will be in their element on Saturday, rain or shine. The feature race at York, the John Smith’s Cup Handicap is run over approximately two furlongs less than is usually the case owing to the inclement weather. The race has been shortened due to waterlogging on the Knavesmire and Flying Clarets (each-way) looks the horse to take advantage.

Race-goers at Ascot are a demanding bunch, so even a pretty ordinary card has a fascinating Group 3 race on Saturday. The Summer Mile Stakes is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. The power that was once Godolphin entered three horses at the five day stage. One senses the boys in blue really want to win this after a dismal start to the 2007 season.

The last representative standing of those entries is Echo of Light. He has won twice in Group 2 company so looks the percentage bet. It is tough to know what to make of the Queen Anne form given the way some of the principals in that race have flopped subsequently, so the likes of Cesare and Racinger, though clearly threats, are probably best watched.

Back at York, Game Lad can justify favouritism in the John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap.


2:50 Ascot: Echo of Light (win)

3:15 York: Flying Clarets (each-way)

3:50 York: Game Lad (win)

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