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Top up Royal Ascot bank with shrewd placement of Fitzrovia.

Richard Birch TODAY'S BEST BETS Breathable 5.00 Carlisle 2pts win Sir Roderic 7.10 Windsor 1pt win Fitzrovia 8.20 Nottingham 2pts win FINGERS firmly crossed that Nottingham survives an 8am inspection because Fitzrovia, my best bet of the day, is due to contest the Join Racing TV Now Handicap (8.20).

This looks an outstanding piece of placing by trainer Ed de Giles since his four-year-old can race off a mark just 2lb higher than when bolting up at Yarmouth on Thursday despite carrying a 5lb penalty.

When making his latest revisions last week, the handicapper dropped the lightly raced Fitzrovia from a rating of 57 to 54, which came into effect on Saturday.

The son of Poet's Voice then belied odds of 25-1 on soft ground at Yarmouth over 7f to run out a highly impressive four-length winner from Song Of Summer.

After being short of room when trapped behind a wall of horses from two furlongs out, Fitzrovia was badly hampered and bumped a furlong later, which resulted in Pat Cosgrave's saddle slipping.

The fact that Fitzrovia managed to overcome that setback by quickening in super style to lead half a furlong out and storm clear reflects enormous credit on him.

It also suggests he is miles ahead of the handicapper and looks just the type to run up a summer sequence.

Judged on the way he finished off his race at Yarmouth, the step up in trip is likely to bring about further improvement from Fitzrovia and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't win this comfortably.

I'm also sweet on the chance of Breathable, who tackles Carlisle's Class 5 Watch Racing TV Now Handicap (5.00).

Tim Easterby's gelding improved significantly for the step up to 1m2f and 1m4f during his three-year-old career last summer and posted form figures of 2122 during a fourweek spell in July and August - all in Class 5 or 6 company.

Two of those defeats were in photo-finishes and his rating duly soared from 60 to 72.

A big horse who is likely to improve again from three to four, Breathable shaped nicely on his Beverley reappearance last month when fourth of eight in a Class 4 to Where's Jeff, who finished a close third in the Class 3 Queen Mother's Cup at York on Saturday.

Fast ground was probably against Breathable on his latest start when only tenth of 13 behind Makawee on the Knavesmire - again in Class 4 grade - and a subsequent 3lb drop in the weights will have been welcomed by connections.

It's a big drop in class at Carlisle, where Breathable will enjoy the forecast good to soft ground and stiff finish. He was an easy Beverley winner last year and also devoured the Pontefract hill when a fastfinishing second to Almunther. Breathable has the scope to develop into a 75-plus horse this year and he rates a most attractive punting proposition off just 66.

Sir Roderic, who at one time was rated 97 and looked tailor-made for valuable soft-ground mile handicaps such as the Lincoln, isn't the force of old, but still retains sufficient ability to win off marks in the low 70s when everything is in his favour.

His record at Windsor since the start of the 2016 season is three wins from four starts and a return to the riverside track on easy ground can see him add to his tally by taking the Marathonbet Official Global Partner Of Manchester City Handicap (7.10) under title-chasing Oisin Murphy.

The jockey got a tremendous tune out of the six-year-old when they last teamed up at Chepstow three outings ago, Sir Roderic running on strongly under a no-nonsense ride to beat Dashing Poet by a length and three-quarters off 69.

He is only 3lb higher and looks attractively weighted with only 8st 13lb to carry.

What I learned in the last week ... Your Mothers' Eyes ran a blinder in defeat at Leicester. The return to Brighton will see him back in the winner's enclosure tomorrow night. He's my best bet of the week - Royal Ascot included.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 17, 2019
Words:697
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