Select Agrapart and Billy Ray at Ascot

Royal Ascot aim for City Light

Eight Year Old Ticks All The Boxes In Staying Event

If we construct the criteria for a winner of a two mile handicap on soft ground at Ascot we would need a horse with real stamina, ability on the ground, a liking for the course and a top apprentice to take a few pounds off the allocated weight.

Voila: AGRAPART, who runs in the Wood & Wood Signs Apprentice Handicap this afternoon.

He is due to race off a mark of 77, which is largely guesswork based on four runs he had in France in 2014 and 2015.

Since then he has progressed to hurdles and come to England to be trained by Nick Williams. He has contested staying hurdle races at the highest level, winning the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on heavy ground in January 2018; the likes of Wholestone and Colin’s Sister were behind him there.

Any transference of that kind of performance to today’s flat event would see him thrown in here on current hurdles rating of 150.

Megan Nicholls takes off 3 lbs and his sire Martaline has had one winner from two runners at Ascot.

BILLY RAY looks next best and will like the going but the 3/1 about Agrapart (Bet365, BetVictor) should be taken.

G Lees