Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 6 super plays at Ascot on Saturday

Our clever racing analysts have given the nod to Cloth Cap in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase.

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12:40 Young Butler

YOUNG BUTLER made the most of a good opportunity to get off the mark in a maiden hurdle at Chepstow last time, just needing to be pushed out after the last to win comfortably by a length-and-a-half.

He now makes the switch to handicaps and will command plenty of respect from an opening BHA mark of 121. That looks fair judged on the balance of his form and he is likely to progress further now stepping up in trip to nearly three miles.

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13:15 Pencilfulloflead

PENCILFULLOFLEAD showed smart form in four starts over fences last season, producing his best effort when easily winning the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown. That form sets the standard in this line-up and it’s still early days in his chasing career, so he may yet have more to offer. He has been well placed by Gordon Elliott and this looks a good opportunity for him to make a successful return to action.

13:50 Palmers Hill

PALMERS HILL clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train, but he’s got plenty of ability and it was a good performance from him to get off the mark on his second start over fences at Wetherby last month. He was always in control after being produced to lead before the last, keeping going well from there to win by over a length. He remains open to more improvement and another bold bid is expected from just a 4lbs higher mark.

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14:25 Thyme Hill

THYME HILL was disappointing when finishing down the field in the Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil six weeks ago, but he is clearly better than that, as he showed when winning two of his three starts last season.

He won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree either side of his thrilling battle with Paisley Park in this race, just losing out by a neck on that occasion. Connections will be hoping to go one place better this year and he looks to have plenty in his favour with the run in France under his belt.

15:00 Cloth Cap

CLOTH CAP is a smart chaser who won last year’s Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in devastating fashion, making virtually all to land the spoils by 10 lengths. He found life tougher when lining up in the latest edition of that race from an 18lbs higher mark, but it was still an encouraging run to finish sixth, understandably getting tired late on after setting a strong gallop. The handicapper has given him a bit of respite since then and he should find things easier in these slightly calmer waters.

15:35 No Ordinary Joe

NO ORDINARY JOE shaped with promise after six months off when third behind West Cork in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last time, taking a strong hold at the head of affairs and sticking to his task well under the circumstances to be beaten less than 3 lengths.

That was first start in a handicap and it’s not out of the question that he might improve again with the experience under his belt. Just 3lbs higher in the weights here, No Ordinary Joe can reverse the placings with West Cork to come out on top in a typically competitive renewal of this valuable handicap.

Ascot tips:

12:40 Young Butler
13:15 Pencilfulloflead
13:50 Palmers Hill
14:25 Thyme Hill
15:00 Cloth Cap
15:35 No Ordinary Joe

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