TV TIPS (SATURDAY)

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ASCOT 13:50

A tough opener for today’s TV races with Paul Nicholls saddling two of the more likely challengers in Bagad Bihoue and Copain De Classe. Of the two, preference would be for Bagad Bihoue who won four on the bounce since switching to the larger obstacles and reverts to a more familiar trip after attempting three miles last time out.

Space Oddity won on debut over fences in May but returned from a five month absence with a below-par run at Newton Abbot last month. He should strip fitter for that run but the early price isn’t overly appealing so I’m opting for Duke Street who won on only previous attempt over todays’ trip and has the potential for improvement having finished a decent third on his only run over fences to date.

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WETHERBY 14:05 – (BET OF THE DAY)

Warren Greatrex has a great record at the course, winning with 30% of all his runners here over the last five seasons, and runs La Bag Au Roi in an effort to enhance his record even further. The six year old mare has a good record when fresh, is unbeaten in three over hurdles when racing over today’s trip and also proved her stamina by winning over two and a half miles when last seen in April.  

Miss Night Owl has won her last three and although steps up in grade today has the benefit of a recent run and warrants respect, while Lady Buttons has won three of her last four over hurdles and is a dual course winner in bumpers earlier in her career.

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ASCOT 14:25

Quite By Chance won this race last year but hasn’t been seen to the same effect since, disappointing in all four runs so far in 2017, whereas Marracudja was beaten fair and square in a lower grade last time out and has now finished runner-up in his last three. Furthermore, his record in Class 1 races reads no wins from six attempts so he looks a vulnerable favourite in my eyes.

Venetia Williams has won this race three times since 2008 but her runner Calipto has disappointed over fences and both trainer and jockey have struggled for winners in recent weeks so is difficult to recommend so I’m going to take a chance on Little Pop who has three wins from his last four over fences and although takes a jump in class he is proven over the trip and races for the in-form Nigel Twiston-Davies yard.

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WETHERBY 14:40

Its over ten years since the winner of this race was rated less than 150 so based on this stat the winner looks most likely to come from Lil Rockerfeller and Ptit Zig, however looking at form both failed to gain victory last season and in four attempts each over a three mile trip both have only managed a couple of placed efforts. It is worth noting that Paul Nicholls has trained the winner of this race three times in the last five years and last years’ winner Silsol wasn’t amongst the final declarations so relies on Ptit Zig who could be primed for a big run.

Despite the rating stat I’m opting for Wholestone who has only failed to make the frame in one career run, winning five and placing in four from ten. He has won two from three over today’s trip and should have optimum ground conditions for another big run here.

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ASCOT 15:00

Jenkins won a decent maiden hurdle at Newbury last November, beating recent winner Bags Groove, the late Captain Forez and subsequent Group 1 winner Pingshou in the process, and now has three wins and a second from his five career runs to date. The forecast conditions are a little unknown as he is used to slightly softer ground but nevertheless looks to have a solid chance of enhancing his growning reputation with victory here.

Air Horse One needs to get back on track after a disappointing run when last seen although is more than capable if arriving here ready to go, while Elgin and Dolos are both capable in their own right and have good records over todays’ trip.

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WETHERBY 15:15

The Charlie Hall Chase is the highlight of the day with a number of top class performers returning from their summer holidays, most notably 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree, 2016 RSA Chase winner Blaklion and the legend that is Cue Card. Forecast conditions should suit all three and although they all have good records when fresh there is a slight suspicion that Coneygree will be using this as a stepping stone for the season ahead, while Cue Card was a hot favourite for this race last season but could only manage third and Blaklion hasn’t been able to re-produce his RSA winning form.

At the prices I’m opting for Definitly Red who is a previous winner over course and distance and gets on extremely well with jockey Danny Cook, teaming up to make the frame in six from seven (winning four). His trainer tends to do well with his runners at the course and he looks to offer a bit of value against the market principals.

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ASCOT 15:35

Trainer Gary Moore has his stable firing on all cylinders at the moment and sends last years’ winner Antony in an attempt to claim back-to-back renewals. He finished a well-beaten third to Go Conquer on seasonal re-appearance last month but should come on for the run and has to go on the shortlist here.

Dark Flame won on re-appearance last year and has winning form both at the course and over the trip, while Go Conquer arrives here having won last time out but has now attempted todays’ trip four times without success and has also come up short in three previous runs at the course.

Braqueur D’Or attempted three miles for the first time at Ludlow last month and was an impressive seven length winner. He’s been kept busy over the summer but is yet to finish outside the first three since joining Paul Nicholls and needs serious consideration.

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Today’s selections written by Dean Kilbryde

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