*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
There’s something for J’AI FROID to find with all of these rivals judged on chasing form but softer ground today, his hurdles form, a win on this card last year and recent success for his yard are all factors which suggest he could have a good run in him. Corach Rambler beat him when J’Ai Froid was last seen at Cheltenham in December but there is now a big swing in the weights. Lucinda Russell’s charge seemingly has his quirks but may also have more to give and the tongue-tie could help. He is second on the list, ahead of Does He Know who has more to prove on soft ground.
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The vote goes to FIDDLERONTHEROOF, who not only has strong claims on his Ladbrokes Trophy effort but also looks the type to progress further and make an impact in major races at the forthcoming spring festivals, assuming today goes well. He’s taken to defy top weight, possibly at the main expense of Caribean Boy who remains unexposed over 3m. Fortescue, Larry and Cobolobo are likely players in the battle for third place. Unexposed Ask Me Early would be strongly respected if coming here instead of Wincanton.
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Still well treated on his bumper form and open to improvement now upped in distance, GOOD RISK AT ALL can gain a first success over hurdles. Cap Du Mathan, Zacony Rebel and Ballybegg are progressive hurdlers who warrant respect, while Highway One O Two and the ex-French Piccadilly Lilly also figure in calculations. Cap Du Mathan is second choice behind the selection.
Fakir D’oudairies has a leading chance on ratings but that advantage may be diminished if he again makes errors. He’s still respected, purely in terms of ability, but preference is for FANION D’ESTRUVAL whose latest effort came in a good C&D handicap that threw up the winner of this race in 2019 and 2021. The Venetia Williams-trained 7yo is better than ever and open to further improvement. The forecast suggestion is Saint Calvados who looks interesting back down in trip on his second run for Paul Nicholls. Dashel Drasher was somewhat helped by Cyrname’s respiratory issue in this contest last year but he’s well suited by Ascot and has to be feared. Mister Fisher, who may be about to produce his best Grade 1 effort, also enters calculations.
Ascot Lucky 15:
*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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