Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 3 things to watch out for at Ascot & Haydock this weekend

Timeform’s Adam Houghton reckons it's worth sticking with Brentford Hope in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock (15:15).



* Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

Kingdom Come a worthy Cup favourite

Only one favourite has won the Victoria Cup (14:40) in the last decade, but the improving Kingdom Come looks well worth his place at the head of the ante-post betting for this year’s renewal as he tries to make it four wins in a row at Ascot on Saturday.

Trained by Clive Cox, who won the race in 2021 with River Nymph, Kingdom Come was well on top at the finish when completing his hat-trick at Kempton last time, hitting the front a furlong out and just needing to be kept up to his work from there to land the spoils by a length and a quarter.

The son of Kingman is only 7 lb higher in the weights today and the form of that Kempton race has been given a boost since when the runner-up, Rainbow Fire (who could reoppose here), went one place better at Haydock next time.

Soft ground is an unknown for a horse who has done all his winning on the all-weather, but Kingdom Come is likely to progress further after just five starts and another bold bid seems assured now up in grade for what is typically one of the most competitive handicaps run all season.

US raider Bledsoe a fascinating runner

Wesley Ward is no stranger to success at Ascot having won 12 races at the Royal meeting, but it’s rare for him to have a runner at the track other than at that fixture, so Bledsoe is sure to have all eyes on him when he lines up in the five-furlong novice event (15:10) on Saturday’s card.

Like so many from the Ward barn, Bledsoe looked very professional when making a successful debut on the dirt at Keeneland last month, ultimately winning by a length and a half in comfortable fashion having raced up with the pace throughout.

All roads now lead to Royal Ascot and Bledsoe will gain some valuable experience of the track on Saturday in a novice which has been won by some smart performers in recent years, including Go Bears Go in 2021 and Noble Style last year.

It looks like it could be another strong renewal on Saturday, featuring a couple of previous winners and a whole host of well-bred newcomers from top yards, but Bledsoe is sure to take some pegging back if improving as expected from his debut.

    Brentford Hope should be suited by big field

    There is something for everyone on Saturday’s mixed card at Haydock and the Swinton Handicap Hurdle (15:15) looks a cracking contest to keep National Hunt fans interested.

    Perhaps the most interesting contender is Brentford Hope, who has taken his form up a notch since joining Harry Derham (formerly trained by Richard Hughes) with back-to-back wins in novice events at Wincanton and Huntingdon. He made every yard of the running when defying a penalty on the last occasion, quickening clear in the straight to win readily by three and a half lengths.

    Brentford Hope was a smart horse on the Flat in his prime, notably winning a handicap at this course back in October 2020, and his style of racing (usually travels strongly) suggests he could be the type to thrive in a big-field handicap environment.

    He’s definitely looked more professional for Derham having often been too keen in the past and his scope for more improvement suggests there could be a good handicap in him from a BHA mark of 123.

    *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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