The Betfair Chase is the biggest race of the weekend’s action, but there are at least three other races that could have big bearings on the season from Ascot and Haydock.
Our picks are below, with Oscar Whisky looking exceptionally hard to oppose in the Coral Hurdle.
14:10 Ascot: Captain Chris @ 7/2
Finian’s Rainbow is the star horse in this and it is difficult to pick a fault in the way he ran at Ascot last time in his first significant step up from 2m.
However, he was slow to find his best last season and has to concede weight all around here.
For Non Stop ran away with the Old Roan Chase on his only start this season and has a fitness advantage, but this is a big ask only getting 4lb from March’s Champion Chase winner.
Better off at the weights is Captain Chris who is arguably weighted to win this if producing his best, although given he is one of the most enigmatic horses in training, this tip does come with a risk.
14:30 Haydock: Kathkeau @ 11/2
Katkeau is of massive interest on his British debut as he bids to follow in the footsteps of Grands Crus and Dynaste in handing David Pipe a third straight winner of this.
Like this pair of winners he is a five-year-old of French connections and was an easy winner on heavy ground last time.
There is every reason to believe he is better than the mark assigned to him on his handicap debut.
Pipe has another solid candidate in Knight Pass, who should appreciate the step up to 3m, while Holywell is another one to consider if ridden slightly more in contention than last time.
14:45 Ascot: Oscar Whisky @ 8/11
When completing his races, Oscar Whisky has only lost three times in his career, which have all been at the Cheltenham Festival over the wrong trips.
2m4f is perfect for the horse and he should have little trouble brushing aside Get Me Out Of Here, Brampour and Raya Star here.
The former of these is second favourite, but was beaten by Oscar Whisky last season on 8lb better terms than what he is in the Coral Hurdle.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date