Mick Fitzgerald: 9 best bets for Saturday at Down Royal, Ascot & Wetherby

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Ascot 13:35

Let’s kick off with Ascot where we start with a novices handicap Chase. Darling Maltaix looked good when winning a hcp hurdle at the track last season. The only worry with him is the brakes sometimes don’t work great!

Doctor Dex could carry on the great run of Tom George who has won with horses debuting over fences this week and I am really tempted by him, however the fact that On The Slopes has had a run this season makes me side with him. He was 4th in a race that will see lots of winners come out of it at Uttoxeter and he is fairly handicapped here.

Ascot 14:10

Caid Du Lin and Speredek are closely matched on running here last season and Speredek could just edge it here. He is a trailblazer and his style suits Ascot if he gets loose.

Bailywood and Capeland are closely matched on running last season at Taunton and Caleland should win that battle. It is just a question of whether he can keep tabs on Speredek. I am siding with Nigel Hawke’s horse, Speredek, but only just.

Ascot 14:45

Competitive handicap hurdle where I really like Lisp. This horse will love this race and the faster they go the better.

Adjali was ultimately disappointing last year but they will hope he can improve. Jolly’s Cracked it is fragile and has not run much but is talented.

Song For Someone is one to keep an eye on but I am going for Lisp.

Ascot 15:20

Larry represents the winning combination in last year’s race and he looked really progressive when winning at Sandown in April – and he is still fairly handicapped.

Black Corton ran a hell of a race in the Galway Plate. He has top wait to carry here but will still run a big race.

Vindication is another who likes the track will love the trip and ground but it will take a career best for him to win. His farm with Lost In Translation gives him every chance here.

Go Conquer is interesting here at a track that suits his style if allowed to dictate, so I’m on an each-way shout for Go Conquer.

Wetherby 13:20

It’s a fair hike for Peter Bowen up to Wetherby and his Cougar’s Gold gets the nod here after a good run at Exeter.

Wetherby 13:55

Lady Buttons was a star on ITV last season and I am hoping she can carry on where she left off. Reunited with Adam Nichol who was injured last season at the backend, she should be ready for this.

Wetherby 15:05

There has been a few shocks in the West Yorkshire hurdle and this year is not a great race.

Ballyandy is unproven at the trip but brings top-class handicap form into this race. Unowhatimeanharry is now 11 but still good enough to win the grade 1 at the Punchestown festival, while Le Breuil was given a brilliant ride to win at Cheltenham by Jamie Codd.

The World’s End didn’t look a natural over fences and may be better over hurdles. The process of elimination puts me on Unowhatimeanharry.

Wetherby 15:40

The Charlie Hall is a race I managed to win three times and is a cracker with La Bague Au Roi heading the betting. She is the one for me too – just look how good that form is from early last season. She beat the best young horses around and with no worries about ground is a confident selection.

Definitly Red won last year and the trainer is flying, while Aso finished a good 2nd in the Ryanair Chase last year and is interesting over this trip.

Elegant Escape may find this too sharp but the mare La Bague Au Roi gets the vote.


Down Royal 14:25

Clan des Obeaux was a great winner of the King George last season but got beaten first time out in the Betfair last season. In fact, he has been beaten first time out for the last three seasons running.

That makes me want to go with Delta Work here. Road to Respect is the choice of Sean Flanagan and last year’s winner has a great record fresh. But Delta Work gets the nod.

Picks Summary

Find a full range of betting on all these races over on paddypower.com