The Ascot going stick studying on Friday morning was 4.3, which principally interprets as “expect a mud bath on Saturday“, particularly as the bottom could have been churned up by racing the day earlier than and with loads extra rain forecast on Friday onwards.
In a method that’s good for punters, as everyone knows what to anticipate, however maybe it isn’t that easy and useful.
You typically hear trainers and jockeys say after some lung-busters in hock-deep floor for their horses that “he goes in heavy, but not in that” (or one thing alongside these strains) and I believe Ascot – and certainly Haydock – may fall into that borderline-unraceable class this weekend.
It might be stating’ the bleedin’ clearly however no matter is the least inconvenienced by the circumstances wins. Talent may very well be secondary.
Maybe I’m being overly-pessimistic as soon as once more – it’s a failing I do know, however I despair of perma-happy individuals – and it is going to be nice and dandy on each tracks, and the fields have definitely held up effectively at Ascot.
Very proud of ante-post place in Betfair Exchange Trophy
Seventeen confirmed for the Betfair Exchange Trophy at 15:35. While that’s nice information for the sponsors and day-of-race punters, these of us with ante-post bets could have favored a a lot smaller subject!
Joking apart (effectively half-joking, anyway), I’m very proud of my ante-post positions on each Malaya and Lightly Squeeze.
You can learn the case I made for them on Tuesday however I’ll re-state it for these new to the occasion, as I feel they’re nonetheless backable even at their lowered costs.
The Betfair Sportsbook are paying six places on their race now, too.
The argument for Malaya is about as convincing as you can also make in a handicap hurdle of this vastly aggressive nature. Hopefully, anyway.
Admittedly she blew out at this monitor final yr when a 9/1 probability however she went there on the again of an aborted novice chase marketing campaign and it seems like she has been teed up correctly this yr for this helpful pot.
We know the way efficient she is in deep floor and at this course (monitor type figures of 14622), and the latest second putting got here when runner-up to Kid Commando right here in October, a race wherein Bryony Frost did not persevere unduly after the final as soon as the winner was on prime.
Malaya went up 1lb for that, however that was honest sufficient given she completed 10 lengths clear of the third, and she or he is barely 3lb greater than when successful the Imperial Cup at Sandown in March 2019, regardless of making a show-stopper of a mistake on the second-last.
The remaining piece within the jigsaw may very well be a first-time tongue-tie – a transfer typically utilized by trainers when their horses race in excessive floor, even after they do not have wind points – and she or he is very pretty priced at 12s or larger win-only on the alternate.
Backing Lightly Squeeze carries a better doubt, as he has had a wind-op since his Welsh Champion Hurdle run in October (and he, too, sports activities an preliminary tongue-tie right here) and also you by no means really know the way that can assist and profit horses till they expertise the exertion of racing circumstances, particularly on this kind of floor.
But if it has achieved the trick then he’s a large participant. He gained in heavy floor at Wincanton on Boxing Day, and even the naked type of his Welsh Champion Hurdle seventh at Ffos Las final time provides him viable claims, given how effectively the race has labored out.
He travelled effectively into the race there earlier than his run petered out in a short time (which prompted the wind op, little doubt) and I hope the handicapper has been untimely by dropping him 3lb. Harry Fry has his staff in actually good order, too.
I’m not placing up both horse afresh and nor am I sticking up one other guess – Oakley, who I tipped when a no-show for the Greatwood, can be my greatest of the remaining, although beware the Irish raider Belfast Banter – however I’m very happy with my ante-post pair towards the sphere.
They favored to return from off the tempo, and I counted at the least 5 doable front-runners in right here.
Bennys might be King however Drumcliff a good various
The first of the 4 Ascot races on ITV4 is the 2m3f handicap chase at 13:50 and the 2 I favored most on the costs had been Bennys King and Drumcliff.
The former is the premier guess at 9.08/1 or larger.
I used to be fairly stunned that he was so robust out there on his return at Aintree as Dan Skelton stated he would want the run beforehand – the horse went off at 4/1, and was only a contact larger at 5.49/2 at Betfair SP – and he definitely ran like a rusty horse, as he was by no means actually travelling after midway.
It was the same story on his reappearance final season when he was despatched off the three/1 jolly at Stratford, solely to complete a well-beaten sixth.
But he got here on a ton for that run to win by six lengths at Newbury subsequent time, and hopefully he’ll repeat the feat right here.
He was dropped 2lb for his Aintree return and he’s now solely the identical quantity greater than when a neck second over 2m5f in heavy floor right here in January, and I feel the step right down to 2m2f175yd on this floor could also be a great transfer.
He gained over an prolonged 2m3f within the heavy at Chepstow again in 2018 and he’ll do for me right here.
Drumcliff is a good various at 9/1+ if you wish to go in two-handed. He got here again to type over 2m5f right here final time (when tried in cheek items, that are retained right here) and, although raised 1lb, he’s nonetheless 12lb shy of his peak ranking. And the step down 2f in journey seems a constructive for him, too.
Whether he needs it fairly this deep we will see (although Timeform referred to as it heavy when he gained right here in 2018 below right now’s jockey) however he’s at house in smooth, he’s a course winner, and it’s attention-grabbing that 5lb claimer is again on board for the primary time in yonks. She is 2 from three on the horse, and the horse fell within the Galway Plate on the opposite event.
I’ll add him as a saver at 10.09/1 or larger. There are 4 in right here that wish to go on, which ought to swimsuit my pair.
Two cracking races however I’m completely satisfied to go away them alone
The market for a cracking Long Walk at 14:25 is now fairly effectively established – the ante-post line quickly instructed us that Sire Du Berlais would not be coming over – and I can not see an apparent backing edge.
I could personally attempt to lay Thyme Hill and Paisley Park mixed on the alternate so I’ve the sphere operating for me at round 11/8 – I can see Main Fact and Roksana successful, and a few of the horses priced up at 20/1+ are not any mugs – however I’ve little so as to add on the race apart from that.
The Conditional seems a strong sufficient favorite within the 3m handicap chase at 15:00 after his reappearance third within the Ladbrokes Trophy. And he gained in filthy circumstances at Cheltenham final season so he has honest probabilities of dealing with the bottom.
However, you possibly can fairly simply make a case for a number of of his rivals at twice his worth and extra – previous boy Regal Encore, winner of this race final yr and in 2016, is again on his favorite stomping floor, and Ladbrokes Trophy sixth Ardlethen will recognize the step again to 3m – however it’s a race I can go away alone. No level forcing a guess for the sake of an curiosity.
Don’t Pass on McGowans in handicap hurdle at Haydock
We even have two ITV4 races at Haydock – Betfair-sponsored races once more, no much less – and it guarantees to be much more testing right here than at Ascot.
The monitor is a magnet for rain – what I imply – and I do concern for the assembly in the event that they get as a lot rain as some websites are forecasting any longer. It has been heavy there since final weekend and it hasn’t been a dry week. And it will get wetter, by all accounts.
I might tread rigorously on the staking entrance myself – it actually might be determined slow-motion stuff right here, as we noticed with Perfect Candidate’s win right here earlier within the season, albeit that was over 3m5f – however Mcgowans Pass will relish the slop and slog within the 2m3f handicap hurdle at 14:05.
The query is will he see out the journey within the floor, and can this forward-goer be too inconvenienced by the doable consideration of Chirico Vallis and Electron Bleu on the entrance finish?
The counter-argument is that he does not want to steer and he appeared to get house okay when second over 2m5f at Kelso again in January (the winner adopted up off a 7lb greater mark two begins later, and a sure Lake View Lad was third in that race, too), so I’m going to stay him up at 10.09/1 or larger.
His file on formally heavy floor is 211534122, and I feel a 3lb rise for his short-head second over 2m at Ayr final time is honest.
The winner blew out over 2m3f right here subsequent time however he could not have stayed there, they usually pulled 22 lengths clear of the third, who ran effectively in defeat when filling the identical putting (this time overwhelmed simply 4½ lengths) at Leicester afterwards.
And of course Mcgowan’s Pass’s second to the then 123-rated Main Fact at Wetherby again in March – once more off only a 3lb greater mark than this, with a next-time-out winner in third – was not too shoddy an effort.
Yes, he’s a particularly reasonable 9s poke, all issues thought-about.
Little to advocate Salty Boy however he may very well be a tasty guess
The Betfair Tommy Whittle over an extended 3m1f at 14:40 is not going to be tor the faint-hearted.
I like Sojourn however I simply ponder whether it is a race for a lightly-raced horse with so little expertise. And, of course, he did go up 11lb for his spectacular win final month, is regarded as greatest when fresh and is a contact on the quick aspect at round 7/2 on the alternate.
I’m going to go away this race alone however I’ve an inkling that Salty Boy may outrun his worth at 20/1+.
I by no means put up a horse that I can not make a convincing case for on paper, and I struggled right here.
His stamina is a giant doubt, he has no type on floor this heavy and even the first-time cheekpieces will not be bet-inducing, stats-wise (the coach is 1 from 30 with this change since 2016, although The Conditional did win second day out in them on the Festival).
But I feel I noticed sufficient in his two runs this season to counsel he’s a effectively handicapped horse now off 125 (he has been dropped 5lb, which brings him to an 8lb decrease mark than his hurdles mark) – he did not drop away as appeared seemingly at one stage over 3m at Ascot final time, although he beat just one house – so I actually could chuck a tenner his method. He clearly formed effectively over 2m4f at Sandown beforehand.
However, I can not put him up on such a flimsy case.
Editorial requirements and all that.