Top class fare on our screens today, covering the meetings at Ascot and Haydock, both of which feature ‘shoot outs’ between horses at the top of their respective trees.

At the Berkshire course, the eagerly awaited clash of the two highest rated horses in training goes off at 2.05 in the Christy 1965 Chase, with the market firmly on the side of Altior at 4-7, with Cyrname at 13-8.

We suspect that all but the connections of Cyrname will be hoping that Altior can pouch its 20th win on the bounce, but as a betting race this is a non-event, so watch and enjoy.

Two other races at Ascot are being shown, starting with the Coral Hurdle at 2.40 in which another Henderson inmate Call Me Lord takes on Dan Skelton‘s admirable mare Roksana.

There’s nothing between them in the market, but the fact that Roksana is saddled with a penalty for her fortunate win at Cheltenham swings us in favour of Call Me Lord and a win bet at 2-1 is recommended.

The Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase at 3.20 has a field of 10 with 3 co-favs at 4-1. One of those is The Last Day, which we highlighted on our Preview two weeks ago, happily seeing Evan Williams‘ 7-y-o make a mockery of its handicap mark and not bothering to come of the bridle when winning by 5 lengths. That spoilsport of a handicapper has taken a modicum of revenge by raising TLD by 11 lbs, but that may not be enough and we think a modest win bet is in order.

Also reappearing is Caid Du Lin, which we also gave on the Preview three weeks ago, when it was given a ride that is best described as ‘injudicious’ (polite version) or ‘very stupid’ (more accurate version).

Held up in a tailed off position almost throughout, CDL eventually finished where all good each way bets finish, 4th.

Happily Charlie Hammond is exiled to the wilds of Huntingdon today and Sean (Mr No Nonsense) Bowen takes over in an attempt to win this race for the second year running and it’s certainly worth an each way punt at 10-1.

Over at Haddock the big shoot out is at 3.00, when the Betfair Chase looks like a match between Bristol De Mai and Lostintranslation, an opinion shared by the market which has them at 6-5 and 15-8 respectively.

Difficult to take a view on this one, so, again, we advise a watching brief.

The Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle at 1.50 has a field of 12 and we have no hesitation in nominating Whoshotthesheriff as the one to be with. This winner of three hurdles in its Novice season was threatening to run away from its field on handicap/seasonal debut at Cheltenham before going fetlock over stifle at the second last and gets a chance to put the recoed straight this afternoon. Take the 15-2 each way.

At 2.25 the Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle takes place with a competitive field of 17 and we have picked out two to give us a run for the hard-earned.

Breaking Waves made a more than satisfactory comeback three weeks ago when staying on to be fourth of a lot at Cheltenham and the step up to 3m today looks bound to suit. 8-1 are the odds of reward.

Acey Milan has promised much but not delivered, but, second season, wind op and cheekpieces + Rex Dingle may just do the trick and it’s undoubtedly well handicapped. A bit of 8-1 here will do nicely.

Last, but not least, the Better Value On Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Chase at 3.40 gives a good opportunity to Moving In Style to get off the mark for the season, having had a pipe opener 18 days ago.

Stays longer than your mother-in-law and with conditions to suit, we have seen worse 8-1 pokes. Get on each way.

Time now to watch a re-run of our beloved Prime Minister being interrupted 45 times in 30 minutes – democracy, don’t you just love it?


Call Me Lord 2.40 Ascot 2pts win @ 2-1

The Last Day 3.20 Ascot 2pts win @ 4-1

Caid Du Lin 3.20 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 10-1

Whoshotthesheriff 1.50 Haydock 1.5pts e/w @ 15-2

Breaking Waves 2.25 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)

Acey Milan 2.25 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)

Moving In Style 3.40 Haydock 1.5pts e/w @ 8-1

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