Saturday’s racing tips – 11/4 NAP can strike Gold at Ascot

Connor Beasley guiding Dakota Gold to victory during the Ebor Festival.

Connor Beasley guiding Dakota Gold to victory during the Ebor Festival.

Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s televised races and selects a strong contender in the Listed sprint at Ascot as his NAP of the day with Unibet.

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2:00pm Ascot UK Hi-Fi Show Live Rous Stakes (Listed Race) 5f

Soft ground form will be crucial at Ascot this weekend, brining outsiders like Stake Acclaim and Intense Romance into the discussion. Tis Marvellous and Danzeno have both tasted success here at Ascot this term and have to be respected. Neither, however, have shown the same level of form and consistency as DAKOTA GOLD (NAP) this term and Michael Dods’ sprint should be hard to beat as he makes a rare trip down south.

Dakota Gold strung together a terrific sequence of four-straight victories during the summer. His first win came in a handicap at York off a mark of 96. After romping home in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon in August, Dods took a chance by throwing Dakota Gold out at the Ebor Festival just four days later and it proved to be a profitable move, as his sprinter carried top-weight to another superb handicap triumph on Juddmonte International Stakes day.

A maiden Listed triumph followed at the same venue in September, where Dakota Gold led from start to finish to beat Danzeno in the Garrowby Stakes by almost two lengths. Dods’ five-year-old may have fallen to Maid In India at Newbury last time out, but Dakota Gold was forced to run a solo effort from a wide draw that day and couldn’t quite reel in the winner.

Although six furlongs may be his preferred trip, you need to be a strong stayer to win any race here at Ascot and the softer ground will bring Dakota Gold’s stamina to the fore. Dods’ five-year-old is in the form of his life, ground conditions will certainly suit Connor Beasley’s mount has been drawn perfectly in the centre of the track. 11/4 looks a fantastic price.