Ascot beckons for Assertive

Assertive was introduced at 20-1 for the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot with VC Bet and Stan James after his victory in the SEI Investments Stakes at Windsor.

Assertive was introduced at 20-1 for the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot with VC Bet and Stan James after his victory in the SEI Investments Stakes at Windsor.

Richard Hughes’ mount went about his business two furlongs out and found plenty under pressure to beat the 7-4 favourite Borderlescott by half a length and complete a double for his trainer Richard Hannon.

Hannon said of the 11-4 winner: “He could go abroad, but I will probably take him to Royal Ascot for the Golden Jubilee as he deserves to have a crack at that level.

“He is idle, but he travelled very well and is a good horse.”

Hannon’s brace was initiated when Baltic Belle’s long run of consistent efforts was rewarded as she held the Henry Cecil-trained Voice in the Collyer Bristow Solicitors Handicap.

The mount of Pat Dobbs was always in the front rank and had to battle hard to deny the runner-up, who briefly led inside the distance but was caught close home and went down by a head.

Hannon said of the 9-1 winner: “I thought she was beaten but she battled well and she deserved it as she is the most consistent.”

Hatta Fort (4-1) left his debut run behind to follow in the footsteps of Dutch Art and land the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation EBF Novice Stakes under Hugh Bowman.

Last year’s winner went on to blitz his rivals in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and Mick Channon’s charge will tread a similar path after seeing off the 9-4 favourite Swiss Franc by a length.

Channon’s assistant George Peckham said: “He was slowly away and always playing catch up last time, but we have always thought he is a good horse and he will be part of our Royal Ascot team.

“I would imagine we will keep him at five furlongs and send him to the Windsor Castle.”

The father and son team of Rod and James Millman were in the money as Adantino swooped late to claim the six-furlong Cannon Kirk Handicap.

The eight-year-old usually finishes with a late rattle and so it proved again as the 11-2 co-favourite burst through late in the day and won going away by a length and a half.

Millman senior said: “We put him in a claimer a few years ago and I am glad he wasn’t claimed as he is a lovely old horse.

“He loves a fast pace and finishing late, and the horses are all running well at the moment.”

Frankie Dettori rode his first winner since landing a Classic brace as Moon Quest justified even-money favouritism on his debut in the Scott Wilson Maiden Stakes.

Godolphin representative Diana Cooper said: “The jockey is in form!

“This horse will improve from here and is a nice maiden winner. He was slow to come to hand which is why he never ran as a two-year-old.”

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