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Value Scope: Steve Jones' racing tips including 11-1 shot Serenading at Ascot

By Steve Jones

There should be a queue to serenade dual Guineas-winning jockey James Doyle at Ascot today.

He rides SERENADING (3.30) for James Fanshawe in the fillies’ handicap and I’m loving their chance. This six-year-old is easy spot in zebra-like colours and she will be finishing fast in the closing stages. She likes to come from off a strong pace and there’s plenty of frontrunners in the field to help set the race up for her.

There was a lot to like about her all-weather form late last year when she notched up wins at Newcastle and Wolverhampton. Luck has deserted her in recent starts but there’s no doubt she’s still in form and horses that like all-weather surfaces often take well to Ascot. Have 2pts each-way at 11-1, with Sky Bet offering a generous four places.

Earlier on the card, UNIVERSAL ORDER (2.20) makes his return from 20 months off the track in the Listed Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes. The long break since his last run doesn’t put me off one bit. He has an excellent record when fresh and David Simcock is well capable of getting him ready after his long absence.

The drying conditions will be ideal and he was progressive a couple of years ago. This 1m4f trip suits him well and this race is unlikely to be run at a strong pace so, although he likes to be held up, it should suit him as he has shown he can quicken off a steady gallop.

Have 2pts each-way at 11-1. There’s a mixed card at Haydock where the Pertemps Network Swinton Hurdle is the big jumps contest.

It’s attracted a big field and that should be ideal for SEBASTOPOL (3.00). He has been incredibly frustrating in the past as he finished runner-up in seven consecutive races last year but the visor he’s been wearing recently seems to have transformed his attitude.

Tom Lacey’s hope was sent over fences last season and he clicked to win two of his three starts. He’s lower in the weights over hurdles so he must have solid claims. Have 1pt each-way at 9-1, with most bookies paying out on five places.

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