*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Jonbon is un-opposable in this one for Aidan Coleman and Nicky Henderson. He’ll likely go out in front and he’ll stay there throughout.
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If you backed Unexpected Party at Wetherby last time out you were probably counting your money before the second last! However, I don’t think he stayed and that was over 2m5f, whereas this is back down to 2m3f. That should suit him but he is up another 6lbs in the ratings. He’s up to 130 but the trip could be the key. He’s my tentative pick.
Tommys Oscar is the odds-on favourite but I’m going to take him on. I feel his rating of 156 is false so I’m going to side with Hunters Call for Aidan Coleman and Olly Murphy. Even though he’s a 12-year-old, his form holds up. Hunters Call was third at Cheltenham in December behind Guard Your Dreams and Song For Someone but he was only a length back and he travelled well. He’s equally as strong as Tommys Oscar and the Haydock track will suit him.
The distance really suits My Sister Sarah. There’s nothing really between Molly Ollys Wishes, Western Victory and My Sister Sarah in the ratings. The distance could again be the key, with My Sister Sarah winning over 3m at Kempton in November. Western Victory likes to get out in the lead but My Sister Sarah could nip past late on and win.
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Royale Pagaille ended up in the Gold Cup because he had a rating of 166 but had he done anything to be in that race? I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good and Charlie Deutsch takes the ride at Haydock. He loves the track and loves the ground. I thought Empire Steel was going to win at Wetherby before he fell at the fourth-last. He just over-jumped it a little. Brian Hughes is on board too so I’m going to side with Empire Steel over Royale Pagaille.
Fanion Destruval is in here as a second option as I imagine he’ll go to Lingfield on Sunday. Palmers Hill is rising up the weights but I feel the rise in trip could counteract the rise in weights. Going up in trip will suit Palmers Hill, who won over this distance at Cheltenham as a hurdler. He’ll stay too. Palmers Hill will do me!
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Yala Enki for Bryony Frost and Paul Nicholls will win this. The competition isn’t great so I’m all over Yala Enki.
Energumene is all good heading into this one and I’m not going to go against him. I’m firmly in his camp. I can see why Shishkin is favourite and he’s accomplished a lot. Circumstances have brought these two together at Ascot in January before Cheltenham, it’s just the way the season has unfolded. Going right handed will really suit Energumene. It’s against Shishkin who goes slightly to his left. It’ll be a brilliant race and I hope they both bring their A game.
Saturday’s betting tips:
13:25 Haydock – Jonbon
13:45 Ascot – Unexpected Party
14:00 Haydock – Hunters Call
14:20 Ascot – My Sister Sarah
14:35 Haydock – Empire Steel
14:55 Ascot – Palmers Hill
15:15 Taunton – Yala Enki
15:35 Ascot – Energumene
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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