All eyes will turn to Kentucky and the Breeders’ Cup in the evening, but before that, the ITV4 cameras will be bringing you more Saturday afternoon racing at Ascot and Wetherby.
So settle in and enjoy seven fine races, including a fascinating Charlie Hall Chase at 2:40. There’ll be no Thistlecrack or Bristol de Mai, but can Black Corton get the better of Double Shuffle and Definitly Red?
Ed Chamberlin and the crew will be bringing you all the action, but before it all begins, we’ve had a little look through the card…
NAP – Wholestone – 3:15 Wetherby
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Wholestone is the standout runner of the 3.15 at Wetherby.
The seven-year-old shouldn’t be fazed by the firmer than expected turf, and enjoyed excellent runs at Aintree and Cheltenham in similar conditions earlier this year.
He was second to Colin’s Sister over 3m in Yorkshire 12 months ago, and is now a far more accomplished staying hurdler this time around.
NB – Black Corton – 2:40 Wetherby
The recent dry spell has meant only five will run in the Charlie Hall Chase. Course officials have been watering the Wetherby track all week, but Thistlecrack, Bristol de Mai and Clan Des Obeaux have been pulled out with a lack of rain ensuring the ground is still too quick.
That opens the door for Black Corton and Bryony Frost. The partnership has already yielded seven wins together for trainer Paul Nicholls, the most recent at Ascot in February.
Frost is in excellent form herself, winning on both Frodon and Eason for Nicholls last week. Double Shuffle is a threat here, but with seven wins from 10 rides together, Frost and Corton should prove the one to beat.
Lively Longshot – Too Many Diamonds – 3:35 Ascot
Go Conquer is the favourite for the Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap, with competition from Traffic Fluide and Kings Lad, but it’s Too Many Diamonds we’ve got an eye on.
Dan Skelton’s seven-year-old has enjoyed a superb 2018. A trio of wins at Southwell over the summer was followed by a pair of narrowly-beaten runs to second.
Harry Skelton was aboard for each of those runs, and will be saddling up again at Ascot. The combination has yielded six of Too Many Diamonds’ seven hurdle wins, so they aren’t to be discounted.
And in his latest Ladbrokes blog, Dan himself fancies his runner’s chances.
ITV Racing tips:
1:50 Ascot – Whenyerreadyfreddie
2:05 Wetherby – Lady Buttons
2:25 Ascot – Shantou Rock
2:40 Wetherby – Black Corton (NB)
3:00 Ascot – Magic Dancer
3:15 Wetherby – Wholestone (NAP)
3:35 Ascot – Too Many Diamonds (Lively Longshot)
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication