Smart Stat: 24% - Sue Smith's strike rate in mid season
Joke Dancer is progressing well over fences after falling on his debut in this sphere, winning his last two starts, and doing so in good style at Warwick last Saturday, backing his win over two miles at this course in good style. This is his toughest assignment to date, but there should be even more to come from him, and it is encouraging that connections are striking while the iron is hot.
Smart Stat: £34.34 - Peter Charalambous's profit to a £1 level stake when having one runner at a flat meeting
Exmoor Beast landed a gamble to get off the mark over a mile and a quarter here last month, not having to improve to do so, but deserving extra credit having set a strong pace and holding on tenaciously in the closing stages. The runner-up was only narrowly beaten at Kempton next time, so the form has some substance, and Exmoor Beast ought to go well again back in a handicap, with the drop back to a mile not a problem.
Smart Stat: 3 - W. P. Mullins's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Conditions will be testing at Ascot today, and that will suit Un de Sceaux down to the ground in pursuit of a fourth win in the Clarence House. He is now a 12-year-old, but judged by his two performances this season he is at least as good as ever, running Defi du Seuil extremely close in the Tingle Creek at Sandown last time. A repeat of that performance in this ground ought to see the tables reversed.