JOCKEY Jamie Spencers exaggerated hold-up style of riding means that for every brilliantly timed last-gasp victory there tends to be one or two agonising defeats.
The weighing room veteran was on board the well-fancied GEORGE OF HEARTS in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot last month where things didnt go to plan.
Slowly into stride, the three-year-old was held up out the back of the 30-runner field where Spencer sat motionless for the first half mile of the contest.
When he did come to make his move with a couple of furlongs to run he was denied a clear passage and then flew home to finish ninth, beaten less than five lengths.
Im not saying he would have won that valuable prize, I just know that the performance can be upgraded and Im keen to take a chance on him at 7/1 in tomorrow afternoons Porsche Handicap (2.25pm) back at Ascot.
That was his first run over a mile and he looked to relish the step up in trip.
Richard Hughes has his team in unbelievably good form and this week saddled the first treble of his training career at Ffos Las which is another big plus.
Shane Kelly, who has ridden the selection on all four other career starts, is back in the saddle tomorrow and I will be disappointed if the pair dont go very close.
Crack On Crack On was another who missed the break in the Britannia and rates a big danger, as does Charlie Fellowes Escalator who is improving fast.
Only the six fillies line up for the opening Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (1.50pm) where Ed Walkers ROYAL INTERVENTION looks the one to be on.
She was beaten on her debut on the all-weather back in May, but left that form well behind when quickening up in the style of a very smart filly at Newmarket in the Empress Stakes last time.
There were some decent types in behind her that day that left treading water and she had the best part of five lengths in hand at the line.
Angels Hideaway brings the best form to the table and looks her biggest danger but meets a potentially very smart filly here.
We wont know the prices on some of the supporting races until later today, but keep an eye out for Normandy Barriere in the Longines Handicap (4.50pm).
Hes now a dangerously well-handicapped horse and looked to be wanting this step up to seven furlongs on his first run back last time after wind surgery.
The big betting race of the day is the Gigaset International Stakes (3.00pm) with a maximum field of 29 over seven furlongs.
There are plenty of old favourites here with the likes of Cardsharp, Firmament and IL PRIMO SOLE topping my shortlist.
Any rain that falls will increase the chances of Firmament who looks sure to go well from his current mark with his stable in form.
However, Im going to take a chance on Il Primo Sole who looked to be crying out for this drop back to seven furlongs when running a huge race under a massive weight in the Britannia.
It is no easy task for a three-year-old to land a pot of this nature, but at 16/1 with Coral Im prepared to take an each-way chance on a horse who has always been thought of as better than a handicapper.
Royal Intervention 1.50pm Ascot
George Of Hearts e/w 2.25pm Ascot
Il Primo Sole e/w 3.00pm Ascot