On the lookout for a few winners ahead of Royal Ascot next week, Nick Luck has been through the ITV races for this Saturday and pulled out his big fancies.

York

 SAMEEM looks ready to run a big race on his third start for Tim Easterby and is 10/1 to land the Queen Mother’s Cup (14:00). Quite a capable handicapper for James Tate two seasons back, he has largely and not obviously understandably campaigned over inadequate distances the last few runs.

Back to a mile and a half, and with the trainer’s very capable daughter Emily in the saddle, he looks sure to have been laid out for this and is beginning to look well treated.

GIFTED RULER may yet have quite a bit more to offer at 5/1 in the seven-furlong handicap (14:35). Tom Dascombe has his team in good heart and has had to bide his time with this horse, who has been off the track for nearly a year.

The bald truth, however, is that he was still improving when last seen and will cope with the ground fine. Tom Marquand is a good booking, the handicapper has dropped him a pound and he is one of the very few with potential here.

ROBERTO ESCOBARR might be the answer to a desperately trappy Grand Cup (15:05) at 5/2. He has run twice here, winning once before running very respectably behind Pyledriver in the Voltigeur (not beaten far by the placed horses).

He may well carve out the running here and will be much more at home on this faster surface than when well beaten at Ascot on his seasonal debut.

BLACKROD is a slightly chancy proposition at 14/1 in the big sprint handicap (15:40), but he was sent off second favourite for a Listed race here last autumn having made a very bright start to his career.

He reportedly got stuck in the mud that day and there’s every chance the ground was a bit too soft on his seasonal debut as well. The handicapper has sliced off five pounds and the booking of Oisin Murphy is hardly a negative.

Sandown

WARRIOR BRAVE is taken to take another step up the ladder at 11/2 in the Scurry Stakes (14:15). This is not a good race for the grade and many of the market leaders have significant questions to answer as to their suitability for conditions or their general wellbeing.

The selection, by contrast, continues to improve in leaps and bounds for new connections, should be very well suited by this uphill five furlongs, and has plenty of pace to aim at.

TRAIS FLUORS can roll back the years at 9/1 in the feature handicap (2.50). A borderline Group One calibre horse for Andre Fabre and then Ken Condon, he’s clearly not as good as that now, but is perfectly capable of winning race off the mark judged on his last two efforts.

Conditions should be just about perfect, the handicapper has given him a right chance, and Silvestre de Sousa should be wiser about him now having had a spin on him at Nottingham last time.

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