Racing: Bishop looking for salvation

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Bishop Roko is worth supporting as he has his first turf start in well over at year in the GL Events Owen Brown Handicap at Ascot.

Roger Charlton’s charge has only had one run on grass in his short career, winning by six lengths on his debut last May at Newbury.

Things obviously did not go to plan after that as the four-year-old was not sighted again until May this year when popping up in handicap company at Kempton.

He made a decent start that day, particularly as he was saddled with a pretty stiff initial mark of 95, to finish fourth in what was a really competitive race for older horses.

Bishop Roko was not as street smart as some of his rivals that day and Charlton admitted plenty of progress was expected, although it was not entirely evident when the Rock Of Gibraltar gelding returned to that track to claim third next time out. Racing off a 2lb lower mark, Bishop Roko took up the running some way from home before eventually succumbing to a couple of fast-finishing rivals.

Beaten just under three lengths that day, Bishop Roko might not have improved all that much in terms of placings but every experience can yield a little more progress and he does not look one to desert yet.

Zero Money cut little ice in the Wokingham at the Royal meeting but he showed up much better when third back at the track the next time.

He had tried to blaze his customary trail in what is one of the biggest betting events of the year and was perhaps found out by the calibre of competition, particularly over six furlongs.

Dropped back to five by Hugo Palmer next time, Zero Money fared much better from his usual prominent position, although he was perhaps not racing on the favoured ground coming down the centre of the track.

His drift to the stands’ side in the closing stages was hardly a help but he stuck on to finish two lengths adrift.