15:55 Ascot – Betfair Ascot Chase
The Ascot Chase was first run in 1995 so although not steeped in tradition like some other Saturday afternoon feature races, it is still a top-class Grade 1 race that lists the likes of Kauto Star, Monet’s Garden, Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti and the re-opposing Waiting Patiently amongst its victors.
Ruth Jefferson’s runner lost his unbeaten chase record when badly hampered by the fall of Bristol De Mai in the King George on Boxing Day, resulting in him unseating jockey Brian Hughes. That was his first run since winning this race last year and it was arguably too early in the race to know if he would have been a threat to the winner on his first attempt over three miles, but what we do know is that he was travelling well and jumping nicely until the unfortunate incident ended his chances. A clean round here should see him gain compensation and return to the winners’ enclosure.
The biggest danger looks to be Politologue who is a dual Grade 1 winner who boasts two wins from two over course and distance. He could only manage fourth in the King George when last seen, but will benefit from the drop back in trip and has built up an excellent understanding with jockey Sam Twiston-Davies over the years so is unlikely to be too far away at the finish.
Another with solid claims is Cyrname who is a likeable sort who has proved himself on a number of occasions at Grade 2 level. He is yet to gain back-to-back wins despite a 44% winning strike rate over fences, yet after his twenty-one length course and distance demolition last time time out, where he beat the likes of Doitforthevillage, Mister Whitaker and Benatar, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he were to put in another strong run here.
Aso arrives here on the back of two solid victories but has come up short on a couple of occasions at the highest level, whereas Fox Norton and Charbel are both high-class performers in their own right but both have finished behind Politologue in relatively recent runs so would need to reverse that form and improve further to be able to beat our selection here today.
Waiting Patiently (WIN) – NAP
Ascot 13:35 – Now McGinty (WIN)
Wincanton 13:45 – Magic Saint (WIN)
Haydock 13:55 – Clyne (WIN)
Ascot 14:10 – Regal Encore (WIN)
Gowran Park 14:30 – Monalee (WIN)
Ascot 14:45 – Clan Des Obeaux (WIN)
Wincanton 15:00 – Sceau Royal (WIN)
Ascot 15:20 – Didtheyleaveuoutto (WIN)
Haydock 15:35 – Bishops Road (E/W)
Ascot 15:55 – Waiting Patiently (WIN) *NAP*