Saturday 16th February 2019
A warm welcome as ever to this week’s preview as racing has resumed in the UK following the equine flu saga. As a result of last weekend’s action falling victim to the above issue some of the key races have been added to this week’s card’s meaning we have a massive card at Ascot of which I’ll be having a look at the all of the graded affairs. Enjoy!
Author: Jordan Yates (@EvRacing_)
1.35 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (3m) (Grade 2)
The Reynoldstown has thrown up an extremely competitive affair this year, if turning up Top Ville Ben and Mister Malarky are likely big players but i’m going to take a chance on YALLTARI for Venetia Williams. He came down at the first last day at Exeter when well fancied but I think he can bounce back here, he’s still relatively unexposed and there may well be more still to come:
Each Way: YALLTARI (7/1)
2.45 Denman Chase (2m 7f) (Grade 2)
The Denman Chase is normally a showpiece event at Newbury but due to the flu it’s been rerouted to Ascot and unfortunately doesn’t have reigning champion Native River in the line up. The current market leader comes in the form of the King George winner Clan Des Obeaux who’s an obvious warm order at a general 1/2. The Paul Nicholls charge was mightily impressive the last day at Kempton and he’ll be hoping to repeat said performance here on his path to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The main rival in the betting to the King George winner comes in the form of Nicky Henderson’s Terrefort. He somewhat bounced back to form last time at Cheltenham when finishing third behind Frodon and Elegant Escape in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase. He’ll be looking to bounce back to the form of his Grade 1 winning novice campaign of last season here, however that run the last day gave the impression that he could well do just that and put in a bold showing on his next outing.
The rest of the field is headed by 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree. He’s a horses that’s had a turbulent time of things since that win and that’s putting it lightly, he found things tough in the King George last time however he ran a solid race in a top handicap at Cheltenham on his penultimate start. It’s likely he’ll try to make all from the front and he’d certainly be a popular winner. Royal Vacation was in front of Coneygree at Cheltenham however finds himself at a slightly bigger price in the betting for this particular assignment. Thomas Patrick, Art Mareseque and Ballyhill make up the line up and are all horses that have a lot to find on current form. This is reflected in their prices.
This really is a two horse race for me and far from a betting proposition. The small sized field makes it difficult to look at from an each way point of view but I genuinely just think it’s going to be a battle between the top two in the betting. I think Clan Des Obeaux will get the better of Terrefort on the day though and further enhance is Gold Cup claims for Team Ditcheat.
1st: Clan Des Obeaux (1/2)
2nd: Terrefort (3/1)
3.20 Betfair Hurdle (1m 7f) (Grade 3)
Another rescheduled race the Betfair Hurdle is rerouted to Ascot and it’s a race that often has many Cheltenham clues for races such as the Supreme. There’s a whole host of talent on show here with Al Dancer, Getaway Trump, Didtheyleaveuoutto and Lisp all sitting prominently in the betting and all with big chances. I’m taking a chance on MONT DES AVALOIRS for Paul Nicholls though, he was poor when well fancied here last time in a big competitive handicap, he’s a well regarded sort though who in my opinion still has a bit more to give. He also ran a cracker on his penultimate start at Newbury when finishing a close up third behind Lisp and the talented Global Citizen who has since gone on to win a Champion Hurdle Trial.
Each Way: Mont Des Avaloirs (10/1)
3.55 Ascot Chase (2m 5f) (Grade 1)
The showpiece event on this Super Saturday at Ascot is the Grade 1 Ascot Chase which is a contest that’s ridden over a distance of two miles and five furlongs. This year’s renewal has attracted six runners and see’s last year’s winner Waiting Patiently head affairs at around the 15/8 mark, his appearance here is certainly a highly anticipated one as the only other time we’ve seen him this term is when unseating in unfortunate fashion early on in the King George. Paul Nicholls holds two live dangers to Ruth Jefferson’s star here though and the first of these comes in the form of Cyrname, a classy sort who won in decisive fashion here last time in a hot handicap. Harry Codben takes the reigns on him and you can find him trading at a general 3/1. The second of the Nicholls pair is none other than Politologue, he got the better of Charbel on his seasonal reappearance here before going on to finish fourth in the King George. A regular in Grade 1 events and often runs well in them does this Hales owned grey and he can be found at around 7/2 in this particular assignment with regular partner Sam Twiston-Davies once again on board.
Colin Tizzard’s Fox Norton is up next in the betting at around the 6/1 mark, he was last seen when chasing Altior home at this track last month in the Clarence House. Robbie Power is in the saddle again here in what is an only slightly easier task than the one he faced against the imperious Altior last time. Aso has been in the form of his life this season and comes into the race on the back of two very impressive victories. The latter of said wins came at Cheltenham on New Years Day and Venetia Williams charge will be wanting to make his presence felt again here under Charlie Deautsch. Charbel concludes the field, a solid performer in top events who’ll be looking to bounce back from a slightly below par effort last time.
This is a decent renewal of the Ascot Chase in my opinion, six solid top performers who aren’t separated by a massive amount. Despite him not being seen properly since his win in this race last year there really was something quite special about Waiting Patiently last season and even if he is a bit ring rusty here which is likely it could be a case of his class seeing him through to victory. You could make a case for all of these to make up the places but the one who edges it for me is Politologue. He’s a proven performer at Grade 1 level and has form at Ascot, I think he can once again go well here for Twiston-Davies.
1st: Waiting Paitiently (15/8)
2nd: Politologue (7/2)