1pt each-way Dalton Highway @16/1, 17:00 Tuesday, Royal Ascot

2m4f Ascot Stakes (Class 2)

The eyes are always drawn to the Willie Mullins contingent in the Ascot Stakes. But I have some concerns around how much MC Muldoon and Rayapour will enjoy this faster ground. Royal Illusion could also go close if on a going day, but again I think she would favour a bit of cut in the ground.

There are plenty of unexposed looking young staying performers in here with the likes of Untold Story, Trumpet Man, Golden Rules and Postileo all entitled to go well.

But the stats are pretty compelling here around backing dual purpose or more specifically horses with good hurdling form which brings last year’s winner Couer De Lion back into contention. But I am going to take a punt on DALTON HIGHWAY putting in a huge run at massive odds.

Dalton Highway has a tasty looking partnership in the shape of Dermot Weld and Colin Keane taking the mount and although Dalton Highway’s recent flat form figures shows 0000-0, all of those runs have been on soft or worse going. All of Dalton Highway’s best performances have generally been on good or better ground and in big-field handicaps.

Dalton Highway’s last victory came 12 months ago in a two mile handicap at the Curragh where he beat decent National Hunt type’s in the shape of De Name Escapes Me and serial Champion Hurdle performer Sharjah in an 18-runner handicap.

The selection’s other big runs include success over 2m 1f on good-firm ground in 2019 as well as a staying-on runner-up spot in the Irish Cesarewitch. He gets in off bottom-weight in what is a compressed handicap and looks well worth a punt in this type of contest as he is a strong, experienced stayer and should be suited by this stiff test.

1pt each-way Dalton Highway @16/1, 17:00 Tuesday, Royal Ascot (1-6 places, 1/5 odds with Betway)

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