Best bets for the weekend horse racing Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August

It is Shergar Cup day at Ascot this weekend. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it is all good fun and a shop window for the game and lets be honest great to see some of the best jockeys from around the world here on our shores, but as a betting medium it is of no interest to me and is best avoided for any serious sort of punting.

For Triple G the races that matter start at Haydock with the Listed Dick Hern Stakes over the mile at 2.30. Agrotera at 9-4 looks to filly to be on. She won the Sandringham Stakes at the Royal meeting in the style of a decent filly under old Mr Marmite Jamie Spencer, coming from last to take it up entering the final furlong and going clear. She looked like a Group horse in handicap company that day and a repeat performance would be enough here before surely a tilt a Group race somewhere.

Still at Haydock, the Group Three Rose Of Lancaster Stakes over 1m2f has seven facing the starter at 3.05. Elwazir has looked good on his two starts at three and is well worth a tilt at this level with the handy weight for age scale in his favour. G.3 Gordon Stakes winner Cross Counter (tipped on here last week) was behind him on the first of those wins at Sandown giving the form a solid look. The chestnut son of Frankel should be able to win this and I have taken the 7-4.

G.2 Albany Stakes winner Main Edition is among a field of seven declared for the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket due off at 3.45. The Mark Johnston trained filly has to carry a 3lb penalty for that win and is stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time. She will face the Godolphin filly trained by Charlie Appleby La Pelosa, who was beaten a neck by her at Royal Ascot. The pair clashed again in the barging match that was the G.2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting. Angels Hideaway did for both their chances bashing them into each other but neither would have won to my eyes. La Pelosa was then beaten when odds-on for the 7f Listed Star Stakes at Sandown I think not seeing out the trip. Frankie Dettori comes here rather than captaining the Europe and Rest of the World team at Ascot and Pennywhistle might just be the reason why. Third on debut, she won over track and trip in July on her second start and should be very much on the up after only those two starts. With question marks about the other two seeing out the trip she is the pick at 7-2.

It should be mentioned I took 5-4 about Alpha Centauri for the Group One Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on Sunday earlier this week on Tuesday in the hope she’d get her ground. Alan Cooper, racing manager for the owners the Niarchos family, said on Tuesday “The filly is in good form and all being well she’ll run on Sunday. Jessie is very happy with her. Let’s hope the weather stays favourable. There are showers forecast, but how much rain they’ll get we’ll have to wait and see.” Deauville got far less rain than anticipated during the week and all being well the forecast for Sunday is for ground just on the fast side of good; in short so far so good and she runs.

They have the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over at the Curragh on Sunday where Sergei Prokofiev and Advertise will face each other again. There was the width of a fag paper between them behind Calyx at Ascot and they are short in the betting; the race is best watched.

Be lucky