Good morning all,
Very disappointing that some of the main races at Ascot have cut up quite as badly as they have done, and equally so that we won’t be seeing Goshen running either.
Still, the Betfair Chase looks a decent enough contest, and there’s a few handicaps worth a look, so it isn’t as if we’ve got nothing to bet on!
My thoughts on a few of the terrestrial TV races on the main piece.
3.17 Ascot – Coral Hurst Park Handicap Chase 2m 167yds
Yesterday I made the case for Fanion D’Estruval as a swing-it-and-hope ante-post bet for the Champion Chase and with that, I’d be looking to Magic Saint can give that form a boost here.
Magic Saint himself got an entry for the Tingle Creek, which you’d hope shows that they think he’s capable of mixing it with the best at the 2m level, and I do like the fact he’s having a quick turnaround here, as the 7lb rise he’s got looks pretty fair and still leaves him on a sub-160 mark, which means another handicap before he steps into Graded company looks a plan.
He did have an extra week to get over his Cheltenham extensions last year, but nevertheless was a game winner at Newbury on his next start and in truth, I don’t think he had that hard a race last week!
He’ll surely be sticking to 2m this season, the evidence is mounting that that is his trip, and with another strong pace almost assured with both Gino Trail and Abbey Magic in the field, he can score again.
2.25 Haydock – Betfair Exchange Stayers Handicap Hurdle 3m½f
Fascinating to see how the classy Kalashnikov gets on here, but 3m in what promises to be quite deep ground means he can only really be watched today.
The Jam Man won half an hour in heavy ground at Navan (chase) and we’ve seen these Ronan McNally horses get on a roll before, so even carrying a whopping 19lb more here might not stop him. Although I will say he is very well treated over fences, and less so over hurdles, so he does face a stiffer task.
Main Fact is another with a string of 1’s next to his name, and won’t mind the ground but again, he’ll be racing from a 15lb higher mark than when last seen over hurdles, so will need to step forward again. Third Wind is more interesting, as this will be the first time he gets 3m, heavy ground and a flat track, and I have a feeling that’s just what he wants. He’ll strip fitter for his Newbury run, which was solid, and whatever you fancy, I think Third Wind is worth a saver.
I’m drawn to Flashjack, proven over C&D in heavy ground after lowering the colours of the odds-on Big Shark here last December (with Coole Cody back in fourth…) and ran really well at Aintree behind a rejuvenated Unowhatimeanharry on his reappearance, holding every chance two out before weakening out of it. With that under his belt, you’d expect him to be a bit fitter here and with conditions in his favour, and only 3lb higher than last year, he’ll do for me.
3.00 Haydock – Betfair Chase (3m1½f)
As much as I think Clan Des Obeaux is going to be the one to beat come Boxing Day, he’s likely to need this and if it really is heavy going, he won’t be knocked around if his chance has gone. That’s not to say he can’t win, of course he can, but last year’s 1-2, Lostintranslation and Bristol De Mai, make more appeal today.
It’s worth remembering that Lostintranslation’s win last year came off the back of a pipe-opener at Carlisle, which he’s not had this time around, and I still can’t quite peg where we are with the form of the yard as yet. Yes, they are having winners, but a few too many are running below form for comfort, and all that, plus the promise of deep ground, leads me to think this might be Bristol De Mai’s day.
You can hardly call the Twiston-Davies yard bang in form either, they’re in a very similar boat to the Tizzard yard, but whereas there are Christmas targets for both of his main competitors, that may not necessarily be the case with BDM and as such, he might just be the fittest off the three today. We know this is his manor and heavy ground might suit him a bit better than the other pair, so I’ll take him to have his revenge on Lostintransaltion today.
Today's selection – Flashjack (e/w 6 places) 2.25 Haydock
Good luck with all your bets today,