Equine flu has bitten the dust and there’s a bumper 10-race card to make up for the inconvenience, live on ITV this Saturday.
From the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at the start, to the Denman Chase in the middle and the Ascot Chase to finish, we’re in for a cracking day of action.
Get yourself off the bridle and take in our ITV Racing Tips for all the televised action at Ascot, Haydock, Wincanton and Gowran Park.
After nailing five of our last six NAPs, we’re putting our collective necks on the line by backing Politologue in the Ascot Chase.
Paul Nicholls’ charge showed in the King George Chase on Boxing Day that he’s not a stayer, so this step back to 2m 5f should suit perfectly.
The eight-year-old is a course and distance winner but will need to improve his jumping to see off the challenge of Fox Norton and Waiting Patiently.
The latter is the obvious danger, although a disappointing run in the King George and victory over an ageing Cue Card 11 months ago is hardly standout form.
With that in mind, we have every confidence Politologue can hold off the market principles, and at the prices, he makes decent appeal as an each-way play too.
If Black Corton is running, you can be sure we’ll be on board. The eight-year-old obliged for us plenty of times last year and can do so again back up at 3m.
He’s run well twice this season without making it into the winners’ enclosure, finishing second in both the Charlie Hall and a Listed contest at Kempton.
The Laverock gelding has a tough mark to defy at Ascot, but that won’t deter Bryony Frost, who faced a similar scenario with Frodon in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
The young jockey rode him to perfection to win the race off a mark 14lb higher than anything else, and she can do the same in similar circumstances with Black Corton.
Horse and jockey have an incredible relationship, and with a course and distance win under their belt 12 months ago, they can get up here in a competitive renewal.
We’re all about old friends this week. And they don’t come much friendlier than Yala Enki, who obliged in the Grand National Trial for us at Haydock 12 months ago
The nine-year-old loves it around here having racked up two wins and a place from five runs on Merseyside.
A win on seasonal reappearance at Bangor this term gives us further hope, as does his cracking frame finish when third in the Welsh National in December.
Hugh Nugent’s 7lb claim takes off some of the heat from a career high mark, and that should allow the Grand National 50/1 shot to run into the places.
ITV Racing tips:
1:35 Ascot – Mister Malarky
1:45 Sandown – Gino Trail
1:55 Haydock – Yanworth
2:10 Ascot – Black Corton (NB)
2:30 Gowran Park – Monalee
2:45 Ascot – Clan Des Obeaux
3:00 Wincanton – Sceau Royal
3:20 Ascot – Didtheyleaveuoutoo
3:35 Haydock – Yala Enki (Lively Longshot, each-way)
3:55 Ascot – Politologue (NAP)
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication