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KID COMMANDO won a handicap at this track on his first run last season and races here on a 4lbs higher mark. Anthony Honeyball’s charge is off the back of a wind operation and he has to be of interest with his front running style. Nassalam is in receipt of 9lbs weight-for-age allowance, which definitely gets him into the equation.
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This daughter of Milan has had a wind operation and I am hoping that can do the trick. She finished behind Miranda at Doncaster last year, but we know MARIE’S ROCK is better than she showed last season. If the Nicky Henderson yard have got her back to the form that she showed when winning at Haydock, she should win here. Miranda is a solid favourite though, and she interesting back over hurdles. Zambella should be shorter in the betting and I rate here as the biggest danger.
Lots of interest in here with the two four-year-old fillies progressive and Megan very lightly weighted. Meanwhile, Progressive won the four-year-old race at Chepstow that Megan fell in. She has not gone up much in the ratings and could run well here, but I like the solid chances of LEONCAVALLO.
He finished third in the Welsh Champion hurdle and Fergus Gillard onboard takes 3lbs off. Boothill is the other that I like in here, and he could be well handicapped. But, I feel my selection is solid for eac-way purposes.
If this race was 12 months ago PAISLEY PARK would be a heavy favourite. He has run one bad race and the market has deserted him. I know he is a nine-year-old, but he is a good stayer and is a confident selection. Thomas Darby has yet to prove he is an out-and-out stayer, but he did run well behind Thyme Hill at Aintree.
This is a cracking contest and it will be run at a flat out pace. The interesting pair in the line-up are EDITEUR DU GITE and Sully D’Oc AA. They have previous and swapped first and second place at Aintree and at Ascot last season. My selection would have won easier at Aintree but for clouting the last.
He is actually better off with Sully D’Oc AA as Anthony Honeyball’s entrant went on to win at the Punchestown festival. Grey Diamond was the other of interest here, his trainer Sam Thomas is flying and his mark is interesting.
CYRNAME has had a wind operation and first time out looks to be the best time to catch this him. He was impressive here last season and he then went to pot after that run, but he has been away to gallop and Paul Nicholls is confident he’s ready. Clondaw Castle’s trainer Tom George is worried about the ground as they have watered the track and there is rain forecast.
That is a concern as I felt Clondaw Castle had a really good chance if Cyrname doesn’t run to his expected level. Shan Blue put up a good jumping display last year when winning twice at the track. But, the worry with him is if it turns into a slog, as he did not look like an out-and-out stayer last season.
I can’t help it, but I feel this race revolves around two horses in here. Johnbb is a young improving type, who won very well at Wetherby on his first start last season. He then went to Aintree and finished second at the back end of the campaign to another horse of Kim Bailey’s, Happygolucky.
VINNDICATION is the apple of Kim’s eye and he took a horrible fall at Newbury on the back of a great run behind Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase. He loves Ascot and is a solid selection in this. He has to give weight to all the others for good reason, because he is much better than them. Regal Encore deserves a mention as he won it last year and never runs a bad race at the track.
PAGERO won a tactical affair at Worcester last time. There is no doubt he is a strong traveller, and the faster they go the better it will suit him. He is still well handicapped, especially as Kevin Brogan takes 3lbs off his back.
13:35 Ascot – Kid Commando
13:55 Wetherby – Marie’s Rock
14:10 Ascot – Leoncavallo (Each-Way)
14:30 Wetherby – Paisley Park
14:45 Ascot – Editeur Du Gite
15:05 Wetherby – Cyrname
15:20 Ascot – Vinndication
15:40 Wetherby – Pagero
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