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Horse Racing betting tips: Put the Hammer down at Ascot

Classy handicaps are the order of the day at Ascot on Saturday and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides his best bets on the card.

Keith Melrose's tips:

2.35 Ascot - Mobashr @ 10/1
4.55 Ascot - Dark Trooper @ 7/2
5.30 Ascot - Haymaker @ 7/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

View the latest Horse Racing Odds

2.35 Ascot - Mobashr @ 10/1

Quinault's winning run came to an end on the Shergar Cup card here last time. Some have taken that as a sign this horse now needs to make the long-suggested step up from sprints to seven furlongs or even a mile.

Just as legitimate to my eyes is the suggestion that his front-running, hardy style of racing is better suited to tracks other than Ascot's straight course. Therefore he can be taken on here on this step up in trip.

Meanwhile, Ascot very much appeals as being Mobashr's track. He was second here in July on his only previous run at the track. 

Yet Ascot form has a tendency to track well with runs on the all-weather and at Doncaster, and Mobashr has tons of form that matches that description. 

His come-from-behind style also suits this track better than most places.

Mobashr is working his way back to his very best and he remains well handicapped on his second-placed finish in the Racing League nine days ago. 

With Thor Hammer Hansen up, he can get back to winning ways.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Mobashr @ 10/1 - 1pt win

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4.55 Ascot - Dark Trooper @ 7/2

The race in which Quinault finished third at the Shergar Cup was won in revelatory fashion by Dark Trooper. 

He can follow up later on the card in spite of an 8lb rise in the handicap.

On his last three runs, Dark Trooper has won a Racing League handicap, a Sunday Series handicap and a Shergar Cup handicap. 

All three race types would be known as outsized-competitive mid-tier races. Win three of them in a row and you are a horse with a bright future.

More than that, Dark Trooper could hardly have been more impressive last time. 

He ended up the complete opposite side of the field from where he was drawn yet still had enough in reserve to pull more than two lengths clear under Saffie Osborne. 

She retains the ride and Dark Trooper's connections might well be looking at Group races if he wins this.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Dark Trooper @ 7/2 -  1pt win

5.30 Ascot - Haymaker @ 7/1

The card ends with two sprints, and this closing five-furlong race looks a lot weaker than the one in which I've tipped Dark Trooper. 

I was almost tempted to take a punt on Mountain Peak, a course-and-distance winner off a 12lb higher mark little more than a year ago. But there just has not been enough promise in recent runs.

Haymaker is much more solid and could be priced up a bit more loosely than he warrants. 

He ran into a chucked-in Popmaster over six furlongs here in July and was sent off favourite for a valuable series final at Windsor next time. A poor start excuses his performance that day.

Haymaker travels well and has saved his very best for flatter tracks over six furlongs. He even raced well at Epsom during the Derby meeting.

Therefore he ought to have few problems with this stiff five furlongs and a draw right on the rail in 14 will either be neutral or a positive, depending on where they choose to race.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Haymaker @ 7/1 - 1pt win

Keith Melrose's tips:

2.35 Ascot - Mobashr @ 10/1
4.55 Ascot - Dark Trooper @ 7/2
5.30 Ascot - Haymaker @ 7/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

View the latest Horse Racing Odds

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