I have analysed nine races and have ended up with three selections at the end of the day.
All three are decent odds and the racing as a whole from Ascot and Haydock is top class even though many of the races have small fields. At the end of the post I have listed the horses from the other six races, but these are not member bets. Some of you may want to play them in small bet multiples for fun as many are on Channel 4.
It will be tough tomorrow as the going at both Ascot and Haydock is going to be very heavy and that is why bets and stakes are kept to a minimum.
2.25 Ascot Keltbray Holloway´s Hurdle (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2)
The Skyfarmer is the warm favourite here but he isn’t in my top 6 rated; however is improving and if adapting to the going should be thereabouts.
Irish Saint would have been the selection if he had shown any semblance of last season’s form. He may well bounce back but I am not willing to trust him here.
Citizenship will handle the going but tends to flop when raised in class as he is here. He wins infrequently and it will be a surprise if he wins here.
Bourne has a habit of popping up in big handicaps from time to time and is now on a low weight. He hasn’t been in the best form and even though he is 7 pounds lower than his last win has place prospects at best.
Minella Forfitness has to carry top weight round here and although that is difficult he is proven at this level. A lot of his rivals here have yet to perform at this level and class will tell at the end of this race. He handles soft and his action should be fine on heavy and will hopefully be fit for this.
3.00 Ascot Sodexo Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)
Several of these have high ratings virtue of their past history – Big Fella Thanks and Gus Macrae being two of those.
Tatenen won very easily last time but that was a lowly Class 3 race and this is a lot more difficult. He won this two years ago off a three pounds higher mark but he is now ten and unlikely to be improving. If he had been a higher price he may have been a selection but at 9/2 he is too short for me.
Renard is improving and has won his last two races but has now gone up a total of 17 pounds. He has always struggled in this higher level and with the extra weight needs to improve further to win this.
Grandioso was pulled up last time when he appeared to lose his action so Daryl Jacob pulled him up rather than risk him. He had been going well at that point and Harry Derham takes off a valuable 5 pounds which should make him the winner. He has more scope to improve than the majority here and had won a Grade 2 as a novice so has ability too.
3.15 Haydock Peter Marsh Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (CLASS 1)
When I started to analyse this race I thought it was going to be between Katenko, Sydney Paget and Vintage Star; however that was before I looked into the form of The Minack.
Katenko deserves to be favourite on his form of last season, but he has so far disappointed this season. He is still very classy and will be thereabouts if back to his best as he loves the heavy going.
Chance du Roy won well last time but the handicaper has responded accordingly and that plus the heavy going is likely to sap his stamina.
Both Vintage Star and Sydney Paget are improving young chasers but both probably lack the experience for this. Vintage Star and Merry King both had tough races in the Welsh National and may need a longer break.
Vino Griego won well at Sandown but is gloriously consistent through his inconsistency! He is too high in the weights here and probably shows his best on better ground. I expect him to be pulled up in the latter stages.
Ok you may think I have lost the plot picking a horse which has not run for 700 days; however The Minack has top class form and goes well fresh. I do not think that Paul Nicholls would be risking him in a top class race unless he was back to his best. He also stuffed Vino Griego by 6 lengths giving him 15 pounds and he now gets five from that rival. If I am right about him being back to his best he is over three times the price he should be. I decided to go for the win rather than each way as if he is right he will win and if not he will be pulled up.
The other races I looked at with recommendations are as follows:
1255 Haydock Benvolio, 130 Haydock Taquin de Seuil, 150 Ascot Mickie, 205 Haydock Un Temps Pour Tout, 240 Haydock Ptit Zig and 335 Ascot Sire de Grugy. As stated these are not member bets just for information or fun.