A few horses stand out as viable trading opportunities at Ascot, with Otago Trail the chief amongst them
13:50 My Pension Expert Handicap Chase
Janika takes on British fences for the first time, but his sire’s stock have an excellent record here, with Bristol de Mai the best of his offspring over fences. Janika has won his last three starts over the larger obstacles in France and looks better than a handicapper in profile.
Many of his rivals here have something to prove, and top weight doesn’t look like stopping him if he carries on with his progress.
Recommended: Back Janika @ 4.6 or bigger (2pts)
14:25 JLT Hurdle (Long Walk)
The conditions have come up favourably for Sam Spinner and Agrapart, and as long as that pair don’t cut each others’ throats, they look the pair to focus on at the prices. Sam Spinner needed the run at Newbury behind Unowhatimeanharry and can reverse the form on much softer going, while the progressive Call Me Lord would be a big danger if proving his stamina for this trip, but that is a question he’s yet to answer and puts me off backing him at the odds.
Sam Spinner has a decent chance of getting his own way in front with Agrapart making the running at Aintree, but possibly on sufferance as the trip there meant he had to be ridden that way.
I expect him to track the pace this time rather than dispute it, and that should enable Jedd O’Keeffe’s charge to trade short in the run before the big questions are asked. He rates a back-to-lay as a result.
Recommended: Back Sam Spinner @ 8.0 or bigger (2pts)
Recommended: Lay Sam Spinner @ 2.5 or shorter (4pts – risk 6pts)
15:00 Garrard Silver Cup Handicap Chase
Thomas Patrick could bounce back here after a rare blip at Newbury, but preference at the prices is just for Otago Trail, who claimed the scalps of Bristol de Mai and Definitly Red in the 2016 Rehearsal Chase and returned after a long absence with a fine third in the latest renewal.
His form entitles him to be a fair bit higher in the weights, and with Venetia Williams looking to have turned a corner, he is expected to make a bold bid from on the pace.
Given how he jumps and travels, I would again hope to see him trade much shorter in running and will play him accordingly.
Recommended: Back Otago Trail @ 10 or bigger (2pts)
Recommended: Lay Otago Trail @ 2.5 or shorter (4pts – risk 6pts)
15:35 Betfair Exchange Trophy
Chatez looks the back-to-lay angle here with slight doubts about his stamina, but none regarding his ability, and he has no weight to carry here. Alan King’s horse is the least likely of his on paper to win but is too big in the betting given his liking for testing ground and his high cruising speed.
My gut feeling is that he won’t get home from the last, but I expect him to travel as well as anything in the race.
Recommended: Back Chatez @ 18 or bigger (1pt)
Recommended: Lay Chatez @ 4.0 or shorter (4pts – risk 12pts)
On this week’s Horse Racing Podcast Rory joined Tom Stanley and Brendan Powell to discuss the best of Saturday’s card at Ascot. We are delighted that Matchbook Betting Podcast has been nominated for Best Betting Podcast in the 2019 Smart Betting Club Awards. If you enjoy listening to the pod, please vote for us.
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