The Grade 1 Betfair Chase at 3.00 is the highlight of the televised racing from Haydock this afternoon.
Long standing readers of our whimsical musings will know that this is the race in which we always oppose Bristol De Mai, settle back with a pint and watch it win on the bridle and, nothing daunted, we gonna do it again.
A Plus Tard (for non-Francophones, See You Later) was last seen finishing a close second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, behind Minella Indo but well in front of the 2020 winner Alboum Photo and that is stand out form.
Much has been made in the Press that ‘Enry’s ‘Orse has been beaten first time out for the past three seasons, but those races were ‘preps’ and this, er, isn’t. You can betcha the 7-y-o will pitch up fit and firing and we take Our Rach to bring home the gammon. Have a win bet at 5-4.
First race on the box is the Betfair Graduation Chase at 1.50 in which Bravemansgame probably deserves to be 4-6, which makes it a ‘no bet’ affair.
The Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at 2.25, however, is a different cauldron of tuna, having a field of 16.
We like the look of two in this, starting with the Skelton runner Riggs.
This lightly raced 6-y-o would have won at Uttoxeter on its final run of last season when stepped up to today’s trip but for going stifle over fetlock at the second last and the prep run for this was, well, let’s say eye-catching shall we?
Now a pound lower, we recommend a decent each way bet at 15-2.
Our other pick is the seemingly lesser fancied of the two Irish raiders, name of Doctor Duffy. Charles Byrnes‘ 8-y-o was second to Stratum four weeks ago, giving that 142 rated horse 5lbs and, taking in to account the ratings adjustment, looks well in here off 139. With Wedgie up top, we must recommend a tickle at 16-1.
Final race at Haddock is the Betfair Handicap Chase at 3.35 and, in this, we take a chance on the fitness of Empire Steel, trained by Sandy Thomson.
This 7-y-o has the look of a big improver this season and makes its handicap debut off a fair looking mark. Have a win bet at 100-30.
Small fields blight the televised action at Ascot which starts with the Chanelle Pharma Chase at 2.05, in which Dashell Drasher attempts to make it 5 from 5 over CD and confirm the form with Master Tommytucker.
We think that the recent spin of the Paul Nicholls‘ runner will give it the edge and, provided it doesn’t try to take the fences home with it (has been known), Master Tommytucker rates a win bet at 9-2.
We swerve the 2.40 on a ‘nfi’ basis and go to the Hurst Park Handicap Chase at 3.15 for our final punt.
Monsieur Lecoq was arguably unlucky over CD last time out and this 7-y-o, which was rated 150+ over hurdles, should be given another chance off 135.
An each way bet at 5-1 is recommended.
That’s it – come on Bristol De Mai(!)
A Plus Tard 3.00 Haydock 4pts win @ 5-4
Riggs 2.25 Haydock 2pts e/w @ 15-2 (6 places Hills/Skybet)
Doctor Duffy 2.25 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (6 places Hills/Skybet)
Empire Steel 3.35 Haydock 2pts win @ 100-30
Master Tommytucker 2.05 Ascot 2pts win @ 9-2
Monsieur Lecoq 3.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (2 places)