Horse racing tips: Frank Hickey picks out his three best bets for Ascot on Saturday

Frank was speaking on the latest edition of our From the Horse's Mouth podcast.




This is a tricky old one for punters.

Papagana was very well backed in the Marsh Hurdle at Ascot where Paisley Park was withdrawn.

She ran OK, was beaten three-and-a-quarter-lengths by The World’s End.

MAGIC OF LIGHT won last year and is definitely the one to beat, it’s just a case of trying to work out where she is with her prep because they’re obviously working backwards from the Grand National.

Were she to run up to her best, she’d probably win but I’m not sure she’s absolutely cherry ripe for this.

BOLD PLAN – 14:25

It’s money back for second, third or fourth place on this one with Paddy Power and Pic D’orhy is probably going to make the market. He’s off a mark of 146 for his handicap debut and looks tough enough.

If you go back to his last run in a grade one in France that form is OK.

A 146 Is a tough mark to win off and because we’re kind of guessing a little bit I’m going to stick my neck out and go for Evan Williams’ BOLD PLAN.

He’s been very well backed.

I think he might have been around 10/1 initially when first put in, but went off 11/4 favourite in his last race at Haydock in November.


He came from a fair bit back, ran down Whoshotthesheriff in the final furlong. Whoshotthesheriff ran OK in the Betfair Exchange trophy at Ascot finishing fifth behind Sleepy Hollow. Honest Vic was behind but has come out and won since.

He’s got 10lbs flat but he’s only six. Has only got seven career starts, finishing second twice.

He’s progressing enough and I think he’ll make the favourite work.


ESPOIR DE GUYE was a very impressive winner at Ascot over two miles three the last time, and I think he’s a good shot for the Handicap Chase (3.00).

He went off second favourite behind First Flow.

My Way for Paul Nicols was second, First Flow was third.

He’s gone up a stone, but I think he looks the most unexposed in that race by a long way and I think he can defy the rise.

What do you think?