Another weekend and another competative day's racing on Saturday at least! I've decided to by-pass the low quality action on Sunday and instead focus on the two biggest races on Saturday. Here are my best bets for the weekend.
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I was happy to back Celestial Halo at a price to beat At Fishers Cross (4/7 bet365) in the Long Walk Hurdle but now Paul Nicholls charge is ruled out through injury, what do we do? The form of last year suggests the favourite (who is unattractively long odds-on) is the one to beat, but he jumped like a brick on his reappearance and any repeat of those antics would make him very vulnerable. No massive bets for me in this race, but a quick look at the latest prices does sway me to have a little (and I mean tiny) bet on REVE DE SIVOLA (3/1 Betfred) who is no slouch over staying trips and has quality form both here and in France. If the favourtie puts in another poor round of jumping, Reve De Sivola could well be the one to take advantage.
The Ladbroke hurdle at 3.35pm may end the card but whatever the weather, looks well worth waiting for. Rolling Star (9/1 BetVictor) is a worthy market leader and I know the Henderson yard think they have him back to his very best, but will he be able to give nineteen pounds to the ante post gamble TOTALIZE (10/1 Ladbrokes)? Trainer Brian Ellison seems pretty bullish from the interviews I have seen and read, and as he is still available at a double figure price, I am sorely tempted to simply follow the early money. However I also confess, I see City Slicker (11/1 Coral) as a very serious danger with the legendary A P McCoy in the saddle.
2.25pm Ascot – REVE DE SIVOLA (WIN) (3/1 Betfred)
3.35pm Ascot – TOTALIZE (E/W) (10/1 Ladbrokes)
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