We have four live races from Ascot and one from Navan on Friday’s ITV Racing.
Nickelsonthedime has run with credit on his last three stars and has already got a rating of 122, so will not make it easy far the favourite, Everglow. However, Everglow has some very good bumpers form and bumped into a subsequent Grade 2 winner Star Gate when beaten into second at Chepstow. This will be easier and I fully expect him to win with Philip Hobbs’ horses in good form.
We head to Ireland for this Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f and Gordon Elliott’s Fakiera could be a bit of value against the likely favourite, Holymacapony, from the Henry de Bromhead yard.
Fakiera finished second in three maiden hurdles, but eventually hit the bullseye when beating Gabynako (who has won impressively at Naas since) by a nose in a 2m maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse and followed that up with a impressive win in the Grade 3 Monskfield Novice Hurdle at this venue last time.
He looks to be heading in the right direction.
This is a good novices handicap chase and Mack The Man bumped into a good one last time at Ffos las when second to Hitman, who subsequently chased Allmankind home at Sandown in the Grade One Henry VIII novices chase.
Mack The Man looked like he needed the run that day. Editeur de Gite was beaten by the smart Sully D’oc Aa at Ascot and then ran very well in a competitive race at Newbury. Sir Valentine was a little unlucky at Wetherby as he made a bad mistake down the back stretch which cost him any chance of winning. He kept on well for second, but was well beaten in the end.
I was at Ffos Las when Numitor won. He is a giant horse and loved the soft ground. I was really taken with him and he gets the vote.
This is a good Grade Two race with a few reputations on the line.
My Drogo was impressive when winning cosily at Newbury for the Skeltons, while Soaring Glory has already won and beaten a good horse called Bravemansgame in the process, but tripped over himself at Wetherby, when a long odds on favourite.
Llandinabo Lad has won a Listed race at Haydock but is penalised for that success. Shantou Express is another with proven form overt hurdles having won at Exeter and Sedgefield.
No Ordinary Joe was well supported at Sandown when winning a bumper last month and his schooling at home has gone very well. I am hoping he can make the step up in grade and make a winning start to his hurdling career.
Fiddlerontheroof sets a good standard as a former winner of the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. He was impressive when winning a beginners chase at Exeter, but got beaten at Newbury by a very smart horse of Nicky Henderson’s in Caribean Boy.
Allart represents the champion trainer this time and has schooled well at home. Nicky will only introduce good horses around Ascot as it’s such a tough test for young chasers. Bold Plan burst the bubble of The Big Breakaway at Exeter but I’m sticking with Fiddlerontheroof.
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