I am at the Breeders’ Cup in California for Sky Sports Racing, but of course, I have kept at least one eye on the action back home and am primed to bring you my hopes from Wetherby, Ascot and Down Royal on ITV Saturday afternoon.
Let’s get straight to it, and the 13:20 at Wetherby is a handicap chase over an extended 2m3f. A wide-open heat, Cougar’s Gold is a tentative each-way selection after a fine effort at Exeter last time. This trip is ideal and has each-way claims for Peter Bowen.
Next at Wetherby is the 1.55pm, a Listed race for mares over 2m. Lady Buttons is a class act and should be too good for this lot. She’s been off the track since April, but with a rating of 142 can make a winning return.
The 15:05 at Wetherby is a Grade 2 hurdle over 3m. This might be the time to catch The Worlds End as he goes back over hurdles. The Tom George runner has always been a decent sort, and he’s still young enough to do better things. This is very winnable.
And finally, the 15:40 at Wetherby is the feature Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase over 3m.
It’s a decent renewal and I have a feeling Definitly Red will be readied for this as the defending champion, he’s the one for Brian Ellison and Danny Cook. He should go off in front and be hard to catch against some decent rivals.
Meanwhile, over at Ascot the 13:35 is a novices’ limited handicap over 2m3f. Anything could happen here, but I’ll back Diable De Sivola each-way for Gary Moore. Admittedly a record of 0-7 over fences is not encouraging, but he will be fitter for a comeback run and is on a decent mark for chasing.
The 14:10 at Ascot is a Listed handicap chase over 2m1f. The Last Day does not have the experience of some of these, but is lightly raced for Evan Williams and should have improvement to come. Soft ground is no issue.
Next at Ascot is the 14:45, a near 2m Listed handicap hurdle. Jolly’s Cracked It appears to be best fresh and I’ll back him each-way for Harry Fry. His form tailed off after a decent comeback win last term and I’m hoping first time out is the moment to get him.
And finally at Ascot the 15:20 is a Grade 3 handicap chase over 3m. Another tricky contest on a hard day. Black Corton is high in the handicap ratings, but he jumps for fun and is fit, so he has every chance of getting in the frame for the champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
The one race shown from Down Royal is 3m Grade 1 Champion Chase at 14:25. A fantastic renewal and for me Delta Work is the one for Gordon Elliott and Keith Donoghue. He was a class novice last season, stays strong and will be fit for his seasonal debut.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
13:35 Ascot: Diable De Sivola – 7/1
14:10 Ascot: The Last Day – 9/2
14:45 Ascot: Jolly’s Cracked It – 6/1
15:20 Ascot: Black Corton – 10/1
14:25 Down Royal: Delta Work – 13/8
13:20 Wetherby: Cougar’s Gold – 11/2
13:55 Wetherby: Lady Buttons – 15/8
15:05 Wetherby: The Worlds End – 9/2
15:40 Wetherby: Definitly Red – 15/4
* All odds correct at time of posting.