Top class racing fare today, with Ascot and Wetherby hosting the TV cameras.
Main event at Ascot is the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 3.35, which has attracted a field of 10 runners, headed in the market by last year’s winner Go Conquer at 7-2. Having its first run for Nigel T-D after leaving Jonjo, Go Conquer competes off a 5lb higher mark this afternoon and that, together with the lack of a recent spin, persuades us to apply the Spanish Archer to this one, in favour of the Gary Moore trained Traffic Fluide.
This 8-y-o has promised much over the years and finally began to deliver at the end of last season with two impressive victories. Add to that a very satisfactory come-back run when second at Chepstow three weeks ago and you have yourself an each way bet at 5-1.
Also in this race we advise an each way punt on the Resurgent Rebecca‘s representative Geordie Des Champs, at 11-2. Always likely to be a better chaser than hurdler, GDC is 2 from 5 over the bigger obstacles and will be well primed to run its little socks off today.
The Byrne Group Handicap Chase at 2.25 sees the seasonal reappearance of Dan Skelton‘s Shantou Rock and this is the time to catch it. Aimed at this event for some time, the stable keeps on rollin’ and a win bet at 5-4 is justified.
The Listed Bet With Ascot Handicap Hurdle at 3.00 should have Magic Dancer as favourite, but it doesn’t, so, if this race hasn’t come too soon after its second 8 days ago, we should slam into it each way at 9-2.
Oop at Wetherby, the featured bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at 2.40 has been decimated by the prevalent quick ground, with just 4 runners competing for a 56 grand first prize. Apparently watered ground is not the same as rained-on ground – presumably the wrong sort of water.
However it is what it is and we will test our theory that when the horse with the highest rating is receiving weight from all the other runners we should back it. A win bet on Double Shuffle at 5-2 is recommended.
The OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle at 2.05 has a field of 6 and we will take a chance here on the third in Oscar Rose at 3-1. This 6-y-o had her fair share of misfortune during her novice season, failing to win a race for one reason or another and she looked a completely different horse on her reappearance, laughing at her rivals for the whole race. Not much of a contest, maybe, and with a lot to find on official ratings, she could just be up to it.
Traffic Fluide 3.35 Ascot e/w @ 5-1
Geordie Des Champs 3.35 Ascot e/w @ 11-2
Shantou Rock 2.25 Ascot win @ 5-4
Magic Dancer 3.00 Ascot e/w @ 9-2
Double Shuffle 2.40 Wetherby win @ 5-2
Oscar Rose 2.05 Wetherby win @ 3-1