Day 2 of the Ascot meeting, with the last chance to fill your stockings before Christmas and we have some interesting bets to get your claus into.
No doubt yule log on to your bookmaker’s site in an attempt to sleigh him and….
(“Stop it!” – Ed. “Sorry”.)
The most valuable races are at the end of the card and the Lavazza Silver Cup Handicap Chase at 3.00 is the one we’ll look at first.
14 runners are due to go to post and the favourite is the perpetual ‘talking horse’ Singlefarmpayment at 9-2. Apparently going well before tipping up in what used to be the Hennessey, we’ll apply the Spanish Archer off a punitive mark of 150.
Our selection for this race is the Nicky Henderson trained Gold Present, each way at 8-1. We gave this horse when it quickened up smartly to win last time out at Newbury and the extra 5lbs on its back will be nullified by the additional distance of today’s race.
The JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle at 2.25 sees a field of the usual suspects, with Unowhatimeanharry at the head of the market at 2-1. Despite the reversal last time out, when it was turned over by Beer Goggles, we see no reason to desert Harry Fry’s winning machine so a win bet is advised.
The card opens at 12.40 with the Foundation Developments Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, a 15 runner affair with Alan King‘s Forgetthesmalltalk favourite at a very skinny 7-2. We get the feeling that this stable is not firing on all cylinders at the moment and we quickly pass it over in favour of One Of Us at an each way 7-1.
Trained by the in-form Nick Williams and ridden by the capable, if slightly mouthy, Lizzie Kelly, this 5-y-o has a handy weight pull with today’s second favourite and normal improvement for that seasonal debut run will see it on the premises at the business end.
At 1.50 the My Pension Expert Handicap Chase takes place over 2m 3f and we suggest going in each way on two of the 11, namely Monbeg River and Theo’s Charm, both available at 8-1. Space and time prevent more detail, so just do it, OK?
Most valuable race today is the last at 3.35, when the £150,000 guaranteed Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle is run over 2 miles. Last year a certain Mr Henderson trained the first two home and there is a fair chance he might just repeat the dose this afternoon. Recommendation, therefore, is an each way bet on both Verdana Blue at 8-1 and Charli Parcs at 11-2.
Happy holidays – back on Boxing Day.
Gold Present 3.00 Ascot e/w @ 9-1 Ladbrokes
Unowhatimeanharry 2.25 Ascot win @ 2-1 10Bet
One Of Us 12.40 Ascot e/w @ 7-1 BetVictor (or 4 places PaddyPower, Betfred, Betfair)
Monbeg River 1.50 Ascot e/w @ 8-1 Betfair
Theo’s Charm 1.50 Ascot e/w @ 8-1 SkyBet
Verdana Blue 3.35 Ascot e/w @ 8-1 StanJames
Charli Parcs 3.35 Ascot e/w @ 11-2 William Hill