Morrice Magic: Monday

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London – On the eve of Royal Ascot the best punting ploy is to seek value and two old stagers who live up that billing are YPRES at Wetherby and HENPECKED at Carlisle.

These two geldings were last seen competing on the Newcastle Tapeta surface and both are now cutting back slightly on the distance ladder.

These days the Belgian town of Ypres’ greatest claim to fame is that it’s the chosen home of legendary French jockey Yves Saint-Martin.

However, it’s the horse Ypres we can shout home in the Racing UK Free For A Month Handicap.

Not only has the eight-year-old slipped back to a dangerous mark, at the distance (1200m) of this contest he was still in front on that recent run at Gosforth Park.

Similarly, Henpecked found himself challenging for supremacy in a race over 2000m at Newcastle last time, only to fold up in the final 100m.

Alistair Whillans pitches him over 1800m here and the ploy can pay dividends for Paul Mulrennan’s mount.

At a shorter price I shall have a nice bet on OUR MAN IN HAVANA in the Champagne Charlie’s Club Novice Auction Stakes at this meeting.

The progeny of Havana Gold are a precocious bunch and this fellow is no exception.

Tom Dascombe’s charge raised his game to go close at Wolverhampton last time and is now ready to deliver.

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