Feel free to pronounce ‘wind’ any way you wish, as Storm Dennis wends its way towards us with gloom and doom predicted for later in the day.
With the official weather warning running from 12 noon onwards, the powers that be have chosen to inspect at 8.30am, so, not surprisingly, both Ascot and Haydock have been given the go ahead. The proviso is that ‘conditions will be monitored’ and you betcha any abandonments will be on the grounds of ‘elf and safety for the poor racegoers rather than the horses.
Rant over – let’s get on with it.
Four races are being televised from Ascot, starting with the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at 1.50, which has a field of six.
Favourite for this race is Sam Brown, which has returned from injury with two victories in 4-runner Chases last month. Not much wrong with the form there, but we just prefer the credentials of Nicky Henderson‘s Pym, which has similarly done very little wrong in winning its last two, one of which was over this CD. Ascot course form is always an asset and, at 11-4, Pym is worth a bet.
The Keltbray Swinley Chase at 2.25 sees the return to action of Red Indian, which ran a race full of promise at Haydock last month after nine months off. Very well handicapped on the pick of its Novice Chase form, this must be our each way pick at 9-2.
The Give The Gift Of Ascot Annual Membership Handicap Hurdle at 3.00 is a 9-2 the field puzzle and we’re gonna take on the youngsters with two ‘Golden Oldies’ in the shape of Clondaw Cian (50-1) and Jolly’s Cracked It (10-1) – fearless or stupid? Find out at 3.08pm.
The Betfair Ascot Chase at 3.35 is the day’s most valuable race, but with Cyrname trading at 4-11 it’s a ‘no bet’ affair so let’s move on to Haddock, where two more races await.
The Unibet Rendlesham Hurdle at 2.05 will witness the second run back from injury of Sir Greatrex‘s Emitom, which carried all before it in its Novice season until running up against Champ and coming off second best.
Understandably rusty on its return, we hope to see a different horse today which can put it up to the fav. Have a win bet at 5-2.
Final televised race is at 3.15, when the Unibet Grand National Trial Handicap takes place and, given the conditions likely to pertain, the obvious bet is to sell the number of finishers. Seems to make sense to pick two against the field, both carrying light weights and our trusty pin has landed on Geronimo at 8-1 and Lord Du Mesnil at 6-1. Both each way, please.
Don’t forget, if both meetings are called off, all the above would have won.
Pym 1.50 Ascot 2pts win @ 11-4
Red Indian 2.25 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2
Clondaw Cian 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 50-1 (5 places)
Jolly’s Cracked It 3.00 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
Emitom 2.05 Haydock 2pts win @ 5-2
Geronimo 3.15 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Lord Du Mesnil 3.15 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (4 places)