Small fields are the norm for today’s meeting at Ascot, where the going is likely to be fetlock deep and it’s s.o.b. for our selections, with each way betting not a viable option.

ITV are covering four races, starting at 1.20 with the SkyBet Maiden Hurdle (would you believe), in which just four are due to go to post.

Everglow undoubtedly has the best form in this, but at a top price 4-7 it’s not a betting proposition, so we move on to the 1.55, the SkyBet Limited Novices Chase, a six runner affair.

Mack The Man is the slightly uneasy favourite at 11-4, but we prefer the chances of Flegmatik, from the Skelton conveyor belt.

This 5-y-o won on chasing debut at Carlisle before going on to Sandown, where everything went very Pete Tong.

Only two horses fell in the race, but both were just ahead of Flegmatik at the time and it was very badly hampered both times, so, in the end, did very well to be beaten only nine lengths.

Well suited by deep ground, we make this the value bet at 4-1.

The SkyBet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle may have little relevance to the March event, but some pretty good Novices are on duty and we pin our hope on Soaring Glory.

Jonjo‘s 5-y-o ran into a Henderson special when second at Newbury before going off a 1-8 shot to beat a load of trees at Warwick. The smell of burning digits was evident after the horse went butt over mammary at the second last when cruising to victory and this Grade 2 event should be within range, especially taking into account it beat half today’s field in a heavy ground Bumper on this track a year ago.

Take the 3-1 on offer.

Final race on t’telly is the SkyBet Noel Novices’ Chase at 3.05 which has a quality field of six, headed by Fiddlerontheroof at 2-1. Connections will be no doubt hoping that this one doesn’t Topol over during the race, but, bad puns aside, we are gonna go for Pic D’Orhy at a palatable 7-2.

Paul Nicholls‘ 5-y-o sprang to life on third run for the yard when winning the Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 146, a rating that, if replicated over fences, would make it very hard to beat. Things have not, however, gone absolutely to plan in two attempts over the larger obstacles, especially last time out when it capsized at the 3rd last over this CD.

Said to have received extensive schooling since then, we may be betting on a clear round and that’s worth the risk.

Back tomorrow with a more extensive look at the action.


Flegmatic 1.55 Ascot 2pts win @ 4-1

Soaring Glory 2.30 Ascot 2.5pts win @ 3-1

Pic D’Orhy 3.05 Ascot 2.5pts win @ 7-2

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