0.75pt each-way Clever Cookie @10/1, 16:20 Ascot, Thursday

On a day where England’s football team inject a dose of St George’s cross-clad over-the-top patriotism into the nation, Ascot, the epitome of British culture, hosts its biggest race in the marathon Ascot Gold Cup, with Aiden O’Brien’s Order Of St George, ironically named after a Russian military honour, trading odds-on favourite.

This is a full six furlong jump in trip for him and, being by supersire Galileo, who is best known for middle-distance performers, there has to be doubts about his stamina on the prevalent soft ground.

That’s reason enough to take him on and CLEVER COOKIE looks the obvious each-way alternative.

He likes Ascot and he likes soft ground, having placed second here the last twice on good-to-soft ground.

He’s in good form, too, with a quick ground victory at York last time out and a neck-second to Mizzou over two miles here at Ascot on his reappearance.

I get the impression the more rain and the longer the trip, the better his chance – and with a generous five places and 10/1 offered by SkyBet he’s worth siding with.

The big negative is the draw, but Clever Cookie likes to come from off the pace so we’re hoping it doesn’t hinder his chances.

Flying Officer is an obvious alternative, having beaten Clever Cookie in the Group Two staying race on Ascot’s Champions Day card last season,  but the selection was staying on right to the line so there’s every reason to believe he’ll reverse the form over this longer trip.

I would have been all over Willie Mullins’s runner, Max Dynamite, had the vibes from connections been more positive in recent weeks after what was a poor reappearance.

His excellent run in the Melbourne Cup suggests he prefers better ground, too, so he’s not difficult to oppose either.

0.75pt each-way Clever Cookie @10/1, 16:20 Ascot, Thursday (SkyBet 1,2,3,4,5, 1/3 odds)

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