Hunt Cup Ante-Post Selection

Good morning all,

Not much happening this week and I'm starting to take a look at some Ascot races this week. The Hunt Cup is never easy but the one I like looks nailed on to run a decent race, whatever the weather. That, plus one at 50s for Kempton tonight, are on the main piece.

The Hunt Cup will be the usual cavalry charge but on what ground is it going to be run? Ascot's had a couple of very wet days and I always think it's a track that retains it's moisture pretty well, it doesn't dry as quick as other tracks. With the threat of more rain before Monday, when it looks like it might turn rather more cloudy than wet, I'd say we'll be starting on the soft side of good, at best.

The Hunt Cup takes place on the Wednesday and of course the usual caveats regarding possible draw biases and the like come into play at this stage, but I don't think it'll matter too much where you place the consistent Kynren, he looks sure to win another big handicap sooner rather than later, and it could be here with a dollop of luck.

He ran another cracker over 7f here at Ascot last time out, only going down a neck to the very useful Cape Byron, and looking for all the world like he needs a mile at a minimum now. His previous second in the Lincoln can't be knocked either, and a straight mile on rain-softened ground might be ideal for him.

Those aren't his only two good efforts in big handicaps either, having finished third in the John Smiths at York last year, second in the valuable Clipper Logistics, and wasn't beaten far by Wissahickon when sixth in the Cambridgeshire either. The worry would be that his one blow out last year came in this race, but I don't thin things panned out for him there, and I'd be happy to forgive that. If he brings his A-Game then it's all to play for. I really like his chance and the 14-1 available (5 places Paddy Power already) looks fair enough. It's not hard to see him starting shorter than that and I'm on e/w.

On to today and there's two at Kempton that are on my eyecatchers list. The first of them, Baasem, was a little disappointing at Leicester last time but maybe he's just needed a run or two to get fully fit, as he is a big unit, so I'll be giving him another chance in the 7.20, but for those wanting one at a big price then Skerryvore is worth a second look in the 6.50. I really like Skerryvore a lot, there's definitely races to be won with him and although that might be after today, when he's handicapped, I can't resist a bit e/w at the 50s offered this morning, which is a bit of an insult. He's learning all the time (was clueless at Nottingham first time, much more professional at Windsor) and how he can be 50s, when he's not got that much to find to get alongside the likes of the not-improving Ambling, who is 4-1, is a mystery to me.

Rare I back two but in the same race, I wouldn't put you off a saver on the giant Fly Lightly either. He ran a cracker from the front at Lingfield and I can see Kempton suiting him a bit better too. 14-1 is fair. Two small e/w bets is the way I have played it. Best of luck if you're following me in.

Good luck with all your bets today,


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