International Stakes Preview – Saturday 27th July

Last updated: July 26, 2019 by Leon Marshal

The big betting race at Ascot on Saturday is the £150,000 Moet Chandon International Stakes over seven furlongs. This is one of the most valuable handicaps of the season over this distance and always attracts a large field.

Vale Of Kent bids to follow up Bunbury Cup success

The winners of the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket have a good record in this race and Vale Of Kent will bid to follow up his recent victory. Mark Johnston’s four-year-old had run well when seventh in the Royal Hunt Cup before a disappointing effort at Newcastle. He missed the break that day and eventually finished last of eight behind Mubhij.

Vale Of Kent was smartly into his stride at Newmarket and battled back gamely to beat Solar Gold, Admirality, Spanish City, Lake Volta and Ripp Orf. With only two lengths covering the first six home, that race looks certain to have a big influence on Saturday’s betting. Vale Of Kent picks up a 3lbs penalty and a case can be made for a couple of those that finished behind in the Bunbury Cup.

Roger Varian trains Spanish City who was staying on well at the finish to be beaten just over a length. He had previously raced over six furlongs but this is his optimum trip. He finished a close sixth here 12 months’ ago behind Burnt Sugar and can still be a factor off a 5lbs higher mark. He will wear blinkers for the first time.

Arbalet finished runner-up (rated 104) and Ripp Orf was third (92). Arbalet has shown little form since and is now 3lbs lower with Ripp Orf set to race off only 1lb higher than last year.

Makzeem up 3lbs for International Stakes

Raising Sand is a course and distance winner having beaten Ripp Orf by two lengths here last October. He ran a great race under Nicola Currie to finish third in the Royal Hunt Cup but is another who would like my give in the ground. Mubhij was a decisive winner at Newcastle last time and is one of the least exposed horses in the field. The handicapper has put him up 7lbs but the son of Dark Angel is still on the upgrade.

Makzeem is more exposed for Roger Charlton but picks up only a 3lbs penalty for an emphatic four lengths win at Newbury last Saturday. He had hinted at a return to form when not beaten far behind Land Of Legends at Newmarket under top weight. He is 2lbs lower than when finishing down the field last year.

Land Of Legends was having only his fourth start that day for Saeed bin Suroor. He won with a bit in hand and Callum Shepherd retains the ride. William Haggas saddles Fanaar, a creditable third in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot. He showed promise as a juvenile and has been fitted with headgear for his last two starts.

Early market support for Blue Mist is interesting, not seen since finishing tailed off last at Ayr last month. He would have an each-way chance on his Victoria Cup third behind Cape Byron.

Betting Tips

Spanish City @12-1 William Hill

Makzeem @18-1

Fanaar @20-1

Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4,5

The International Stakes is due off at 3.00 at Ascot on Saturday 27th July and will be televised live on ITV.