Symbolize can steal the show in the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Challenge Cup for trainer Andrew Balding

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Symbolize goes well on the Ascot straight track and can steal the show in the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Challenge Cup for trainer Andrew Balding

  • Symbolize was beaten by the talented Aldaary in the same race last year 
  • Two best efforts have been achieved at Saturday’s venue on an easy surface 
  • He continues to run at a high level despite not reaching the winner’s enclosure 

The Hampshire stable of Andrew Balding was thrust into the spotlight by the Amazon Prime documentary Horsepower last week and SYMBOLIZE (Ascot, nb, 3.36) can steal the show for the same trainer on Saturday.

Balding and his team, along with champion jockey Oisin Murphy, were followed by the cameras for nine months to give a fascinating portrayal of what goes on behind closed stable doors.

Symbolize doesn’t get a mention, which is hardly a shock given a defeat of two Thirsk rivals is the only time he has put his head in front since a winning debut at Salisbury in May 2019.

Andrew Balding's Symbolize can go one better than last year at Ascot on Saturday

Andrew Balding’s Symbolize can go one better than last year at Ascot on Saturday

However, closer inspection reveals the selection’s two best efforts have been achieved at Saturday’s venue on an easy surface with David Probert on board.

Beaten by the talented Aldaary in this race last year (with Fresh a place behind in third), Symbolize also finished runner-up to the same conqueror a fortnight later over a mile in the Balmoral Handicap.

Aldaary has only been seen once since, when bolting up in a Haydock Listed event from recent Doncaster scorer Bounce The Blues, but is now rated 117 and is a proven machine on his favoured soft ground.

Symbolize was also only narrowly beaten by last week’s Newmarket Group Two winner Mutasaabeq at Thirsk this term, so continues to run at a high level despite not reaching the winner’s enclosure.

The forecast rain would assist his claims and nullify those of one or two rivals.

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