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Ascot hosts a seven-race card on Friday afternoon
Ascot hosts a seven-race card on Friday afternoon

It is the first of two excellent days of racing from Ascot on Friday afternoon. 

The Group Three Valiant Stakes is the feature race on the card, which begins at 1.20pm, and the ground is described as good to firm/good in places.

Showers have been forecast to fall before the opening contest and we have picked out five horses for you to follow. 

1.20pm - John Guest Racing British EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes (7f)

In her debut outing at Leicester (7f) last month, PULCHERIA showed all her inexperience as she failed to settle in the novice contest, which only featured three runners. 

The small field did not help her on that occasion.

Charlie Appleby's well-bred filly should fare much better on her second start and she can prevail in this opening race on the card. 

There are a few more runners in the contest, which will help William Buick switch her off in the opening stages. 

The hood has also been taken off this time as she clearly did not enjoy wearing it.

LiveScore Selection: Pulcheria

1.55pm - Anders Foundation British EBF Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes (6f)

EHRAZ found just one horse better than him on his debut appearance at Newmarket (7f) earlier this month. 

That race looked quite strong and the winner could go on to better things.

A drop down to this 6f trip should favour Richard Hannon's colt. 

He is likely to improve on this second appearance and he is the one they all have to beat in this maiden contest.

LiveScore Selection: Ehraz

2.30pm - John Guest Racing Brown Jack Handicap (2m)

Andrew Balding's colt's STAR CALIBER is lightly-raced with just four appearances so far in his career. 

He was staying on strongly last time out to finish second at Chester over 1m6½f, which indicates this 2m trip will be ideal.

This race will be just the second time the son of Golden Horn has featured in handicap company. 

He could be off a lenient mark, especially with his three-year-old allowance.

LiveScore Selection: Star Caliber

3pm British Racecourses Join Sunflower Lanyard Scheme Valiant Stakes (1m - Group 3)

Indigo Girl returns to the track for John and Thady Gosden
Indigo Girl returns to the track for John and Thady Gosden

This race marks the return of INDIGO GIRL, who was one of the leading two-year-old fillies last season. 

She finished a close second behind Pretty Gorgeous in the Group One Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on her previous outing.

If John and Thady Gosden's runner has improved since she turned three, she will take all the beating here. 

It is a slight concern that she has not appeared this year until now. However, connections would not be running her if she was not ready.

LiveScore Selection: Indigo Girl

3.35pm - John Guest Racing Handicap (1m4f)

Valyrian Steel comes into this handicap race looking to complete a hat-trick of wins but he may find this a step too far. 

GRAND BAZAAR is the one who is arguably well in at the weights. He was denied by a short neck on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket (1m4f) but remains off the same mark here.

The four-year-old gelding has been successful twice at this distance and he can add a further win to his tally with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

LiveScore Selection: Grand Bazaar

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21:34 (+00:00)16 Sep 2021 (Thu)