FRED ASTAIRE DAY

FRED ASTAIRE DAY
February 16, 2019 Lee Bolingbroke

A veritable plethora of televised racing action today, with Ascot at its heart.

The rescheduled Betfair Hurdle at 3.20 is the centrepiece and the betting in this 14 runner affair is dominated by two novices, Al Dancer and Getaway Trump, which dispute favouritism at 11-4. Historically (or should it be hysterically?), novices have a good record in this race, at least at its usual Newbury home, but, at the prices, we go for a tried and trusted variety by the name of Magic Dancer.

Kerry Lee‘s yard was well out of form in the early part of this season but has sprung back to life of late and Magic Dancer duly showed significant improvement last time out when second off today’s mark of 125. With a significant pull in the weights for a defeat by Al Dancer back in December and SkyBet offering 14 places, an each way bet at 25-1 looks a good move.

(Ooops, sorry, smudge on the paper – that’s 4 places)

First televised race on the card is the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices Chase at 1.35 and our selection from the 5 runners is Yalltari at 4-1. The fragrant Venetia‘s charge was a perfect three from three over hurdles last season and kicked off its chasing career with a hands and heels victory off a mark of 137. Unfortunately, Yalltari went fetlock over stifle at the very first fence when favourite for a Class 3 Novice Chase at Exeter, so we have to forgive it that, but a standing up round will make the others go.

The Betfair Denman Chase at 2.45 is another transferee from Newbury and sees the reappearance of the King George hero Clan Des Obeaux, which, perhaps not surprisingly, is trading at a skinny 1-2.

With only 4 runners, this will not be run the same as at Kempton, and we recommend a bet on NJH‘s Terrefort at 5-2, on the beasis that it should be back to its Grade 1 winning best after two earlier runs.

The Betfair Ascot Chase at 3.55 is the richest race of the day and we finally get to see whether or not Waiting Patiently was unlucky in the aforementioned King George in December. Badly hampered by a faller, Brian Hughes had nowhere to go except on the deck, too far out to know what would have happened. A winner of this race last year, Waiting Patiently should be backed at 13-8 to gain compensation.

Cameras are also at Haydock and Wincanton, with the William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at 3.35 the most competitive race, with a field of 16.

Neil Mulholland may hold the key to this race and we recommend each way bets on both his runners, Impulsive Star (9-1) and Carole’s Destrier (20-1).

Over at Wincanton we have a bet in both races on t’telly, starting with Admiral’s Secret in the 1.45. Victor Dartnall‘s runner decided not to race last time out, but, with its mate James Best back on board today, its well worth a punt at 11-2.

The Grade 2 Betway Kingwell Hurdle at 3.00 is our final port of call and possibly our best bet of the day in Vision Des Flos at 11-4. Not far off the best of the novices last year, VDF gave Buveur D’Air an almighty fright last time out at Sandown and a repeat today will suffice.

Now for a lie down.

Summary:

Magic Dancer 3.20 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 25-1 (6 places William Hill)
Yalltari 1.35 Ascot 2pts win @ 4-1
Terrefort 2.45 Ascot 2pts win @ 5-2
Waiting Patiently 3.55 Ascot 4pts win @ 13-8
Impulsive Star 3.35 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (5 places)
Carole’s Destrier 3.35 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)
Admiral’s Secret 1.45 Wincanton 2pts win @ 11-2
Vision Des Flos 3.00 Wincanton 6pts win @ 11-4

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