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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:32am Wednesday 30th April 2014 in Sport
Tac De Boistron can make a successful start to the season by winning the Longines Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.
Marco Botti's emerging stayer is already a Group One winner, but he has not yet really captured the imagination.
This has a lot to do with the fact he has often been campaigned overseas since he was snapped up by prominent owners Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock.
That could change this year, however, as Tac De Boistron is seemingly being trained with the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot firmly in mind.
Botti has understandably chosen the Group Three Sagaro, won last year by subsequent Ascot heroine Estimate, as the first staging post for the impressive-looking seven-year-old.
The grey son of Take Risks has quite a long absence with which to overcome - he has not been sighted since his brilliant Prix Royal-Oak success last October - but that is applicable to most of the field.
And even if Tac De Boistron is not fully wound up with the burden of a penalty, his fondness for cut in the ground could come to the fore at Ascot, where further rainfall has been forecast.
Consistent, tough and proven at the top table, this unsung member of Botti's team might well take some stopping if conditions are on the soft side.
Similar thoughts apply to French Navy, who runs in the Listed bet365 Paradise Stakes.
Godolphin's six-year-old made a perfectly respectable return to action in the Earl of Sefton at Newmarket a fortnight ago, when he defied a lackadaisical start to get to within a length of Mull Of Killough.
French Navy often thrives as a fresh horse, so is likely to be far fitter than most of these, while he has invariably shown his best level of form when the mud is flying.
Escalating looks like being Pat Eddery's big hope this summer and he can illustrate the point by claiming the Injured Jockeys Fund 50th Anniversary Celebration Conditions Stakes.
The Three Valleys colt bombed as favourite in the Brocklesby at Doncaster, but he emphatically set the record straight with a superb display in a good race at Kempton.
This is tougher, but the speedily-built juvenile is clearly well above average and, at least at this stage, rates a pretty exciting horse.
The Queen's Musical Comedy, who looked mightily useful on soft ground as a two-year-old, can give the Richard Hannon team a third consecutive victory in the Racing Post Mobile App Pavilion Stakes.
Conserve looks to have plenty to offer on her first start for Neil King in the Ladbrokes Mobile Fillies' Handicap at Pontefract.
The four-year-old posted some pretty reasonable performances for Lady Cecil and, latterly, Amy Weaver, but she nonetheless seems reasonably handicapped for this mile-and-a-quarter test.
Override can add to his gains at Wolverhampton in March by taking the Streamline Taxis Brighton 202020 Handicap at Brighton, while Solarmaite should be ready to pounce in the Quicksilverslots Play Your Favourite £500 Jackpot Handicap at Southwell.
Cheltenham's hunter chase evening is always a popular occasion, with Pearlysteps taken to shine in the Thank You Gareth Evans Open Hunters' Chase.
Of far greater significance, of course, is the Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup, in which Lyreen Legend can remind punters from both sides of the Irish Sea what the fuss is all about.
Dessie Hughes' seven-year-old ran well in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but he appeared to run out of juice late on.
This slightly shorter trip, allied to quicker ground, could see Hughes' unstinting faith in him finally vindicated.
ASCOT: 2.00 Escalating, 2.35 Musical Comedy, 3.10 Evita Peron, 3.45 TAC DE BOISTRON (NAP), 4.15 French Navy, 4.45 First Post.
BRIGHTON: 4.50 Just Marion, 5.25 Alice's Dancer, 5.55 Dorry K, 6.25 Overrider, 7.00 Prince Of Burma, 7.35 Elle Rebelle, 8.05 Storm Lightning.
CHELTENHAM: 5.15 Noble Ben, 5.45 Sharp Suit, 6.15 Harbour Court, 6.50 Drom, 7.20 On Holiday, 7.50 Pearlysteps, 8.20 Rockiteer.
PONTEFRACT: 2.10 Red Connect, 2.45 Master Clockmaker, 3.20 Dark Ocean, 3.55 Conserve, 4.25 God's Speed, 5.00 Heroique, 5.35 Ela Goog La Mou.
PUNCHESTOWN: 3.40 Sea Light, 4.20 Le Vent D'Antan, 4.55 Beat That, 5.30 Lyreen Legend, 6.05 Shaneshill, 6.40 Shot From The Hip, 7.15 Virtuoso Rouge.
SOUTHWELL: 1.50 Caledonia Prince, 2.20 Spring Bird, 2.55 Dalmarella Dancer, 3.30 Rose Of Kiev, 4.05 Black Geronimo, 4.35 Solarmaite, 5.05 Hazard Warning.
DOUBLE: Tac De Boistron and French Navy.
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