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Tuesday 1 May 2018

4.55 Ascot, Wednesday, May 2

In the Manny Mercer Apprentice Handicap (4.55) at Ascot on Wednesday, Love And Be Loved made decent progress in the second half of last season, winning four of her last six starts, including three on soft, or heavy, going under today’s jockey William Cox. John Flint’s four-year-old officially improved by 20lb from June onwards, but remains unexposed over a mile under testing conditions and is by no means impossibly handicapped on the form of her Windsor win in October. On that occasion, she made all to win, unchallenged, by 2 lengths and, although 5lb higher in the weights in a better race, after an absence of 191 days, she may be able to continue her progress.

Vale of Glamorgan trainer John Flint has yet to trouble the judge with any of his four runners on the Flat at Ascot, but Love And Be Loved has plenty of stamina in the bottom of her pedigree, being out of a High Chaparral mare, so the testing nature of the Berkshire course could also play to her strengths. The daughter of Lawman likes to race on, or close to the pace, which should also stand her in good stead at Ascot, where the sweeping turn into the straight, and the relatively short straight, itself, can make it difficult to reel in horses that are ridden prominently. Love And Be Loved faces 19 rivals, so should be available at fairly rewarding odds and has plenty going for her on her seasonal debut.

Selection: Ascot 4.45 Love And Be Loved to win 10/1