The traditional pre-Christmas meeting at Ascot is a card that has something for everyone. And some long priced winners to help with the Christmas would certainly go down a treat. Here we go:
Short and sweet but Forgethesmalltalk has been a model of consistency and deserves to win a nice prize. This one gets the nod over Comely for her Majesty The Queen.
Only three runners involved and still it’s a fascinating contest. I love Coney Island and was at Fairyhouse last year when he won the Drinmore novice chase. He then got narrowly beaten by Our Duke at Leopardstown and we all know that he ended up only rated a pound behind the Gold cup winner at the end of the season.
Poker School has a decent record at this time of and deserves to be fav having won this race easily last year. He is 18lbs higher in the weights now having won since, Ian Williams has booked a leading claimer to take 5lbs off.
The worry is the ground is probably soft enough for him. The each way play in the race for me is Un Beau Roman. He has looked a little one paced lately and I thought watching him at Cheltenham over 2 miles last time that a step up in trip was needed.
The Long walk hurdle has a rich history of winners with the likes of Barracouda winning it multiple times and also the horse included in the title name this year won it three times, Reve De Sivola.
Last year’s winner Uknowhatimeanharry was a shade disappointing last time and Lil Rockerfella is on a roll. Add in L’ami Serge and you have the makings of a fantastic race. There is nothing between Lil Rockerfella and L’ami now that they race off level weights and there was very little between Harry & Rockerfella at Cheltenham but I can’t help but feel L’ami Serge could get the upper hand over this trip with a run under his belt.
I was gutted when Singlefarmpayment fell in the Ladbrokes trophy as we had backed him each way. He has good form here having finished second last year when probably in front a mile too soon. He is rock solid in this but his price says that. I am also interested in Regal Encore here each way, he won this race last year and is only 6lbs higher now.
I like a couple in here and the first of those is the horse that finished third last year, Fergall. I know he is a big price at 25/1 but he made a bold bid for home off the home bend and was collared by Brain Power. The other one is Bleu et Rouge for Willie Mullins. I think it is very interesting that Barry Geraghty has chosen him. This horse was chasing last season and didn’t look a natural. He is a grade one winner as a novice hurdler, something none of the others in the field can boast. Veinard is another that represents a strong team & a market check is advised.
*All prices correct at the time of publication