Regular Diary readers will be aware that I suggested Regal Mirage was a winner waiting to happen following his eyecatching run at Haydock last time. Tim Easterby's mount had stayed on strongly at the Merseyside track and confirmed the view with a length win at Pontefract on Sunday. The Aqlaam gelding had dropped to a two pounds lower mark compared to his last win and was a previous winner at the West Yorkshire venue. Given a fine ride by David Allan, he led inside the final furlong before staying on strongly late on. The overnight rain also played to his strengths.
The Roger Charlton trained Blue Mist is a horse I have been following closely all season having fancied him strongly for the Lincoln Handicap in the spring. Having caught the eye in the Victoria Cup at Ascot in May, he missed the cut for the Royal Hunt Cup before running a lifeless race on fast ground at Ayr a few days later. Returning to action in another seven furlongs handicap at Ascot on Saturday, the four year old travelled like the best horse in the race under Pat Dobbs until his effort flattened out late on. Beaten less than three lengths in third behind Raising Sand, he is capable of winning a big handicap but I am not sure what his optimum trip is. On Saturday's evidence, I wonder whether he may be worth a try over six furlongs. Could he even be an Ayr Gold Cup horse?
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