Selections for the Seven Races from Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton
ITV Racing focuses on Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton on Saturday, with the Grade 1 Ascot Chase the highlight. Racing Tips have provided the insight into all seven races, with a selection in each.
Corach Rambler (1.50 Ascot)
There must be sufficient confidence in CORACH RAMBLER’s ability for connections to be sending him way down south to Ascot for this race.
His effort in the Classic Chase was disappointing and he never really travelled. That said, he still managed to finish fourth on a day where front runners totally dominated and hold up tactics, deployed on him by Derek Fox, proved almost useless.
His two previous novice handicap successes had shown he possesses a good deal of ability over fences and the return to three miles should suit much better.
Does He Know might be the danger, but he has to concede 3lb all round and it seems strange that Kim Bailey runs him here if handicaps were on the table at the Cheltenham Festival. Perhaps the National Hunt Chase is on their minds, and he’d have to win here if that were the case.
Third Wind (2.05 Haydock)
The Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle may be a prep for the Stayers’ Hurdle, but none since Baracouda have won this race en route to that Festival feature.
Two former winners appear in this year’s renewal. Emitom is one, but THIRD WIND is taken to defend his title.
His other run over course and distance apart from that victory was a very good second in handicap company and while he has struggled at Grade 1 level since, he ran a decent race to be third at Warwick in a Pertemps qualifier last time out.
He clearly stays, which might not be the case for Thomas Darby on heavy ground, while Molly Ollys Wishes has only ever done her winning against her own sex.
Fiddlerontheroof (2.25 Ascot)
Colin Tizzard’s yard is in good form and there’s a chance FIDDLERONTEHROOF is now their flagship horse.
His win percentage is poor over fences, but he has been unlucky on occasions, while he also won a very competitive graduation chase on his seasonal return. Thereafter, he was second in the Ladbrokes Trophy to Cloudy Glen, pulling 28 lengths clear of the third.
That effort fully merited a 5lb rise, but had the winner thrown a strop, as he has sometimes been wont to do, then Fiddlerontheroof would comfortably be rated in the 160s by now. Similarly, he is yet to finish outside the first three over fences, so is sure at least to give you a run for your money.
Caribean Boy is feared most after his win over course and distance last time was franked by the third on his next run.
Lord Du Mesnil (2.40 Haydock)
Course form looks to be the key at Haydock on Saturday and like Third Wind, LORD DU MESNIL is taken to defend his crown in the Grand National Trial, especially at the prices.
He won this last year in game fashion of just 1lb lower and was also second in 2020. His efforts since pulling up in the National itself have been mixed, but he was a good second in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby to Good Boy Bobby.
A sixth-placed effort in the Peter Marsh would have been disappointing, but he was off a mark of 152 that day, putting him within 11lb of a genuine Gold Cup contender in Royale Pagaille. With the greatest of respect to him, he is nowhere near that close to championship level.
The 2lb drop he has been given, combined with the extra trip, should see him come back to something near his best and he is still only a nine-year-old. He can easily go close once again.
Highway One O Two (3.00 Ascot)
There’s plenty of time for Good Risk At All to come good as yet, but he is far from the finished article, whereas HIGHWAY ONE O TWO has been bang back to form as of late.
It’s worth remembering that Chris Gordon’s seven-year-old was a Grade 2 winner as a novice, beating none other than Greatwood hero West Cork. He then went over 18 months without success, but his trainer stepped him up in trip at Taunton, which worked wonders.
Up 5lb, he then ran a cracker from the front in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, for which he has only been put up 1lb for finishing a rallying second. He has no trip or ground concerns and can run another good race in this company.
Adagio (3.20 Wincanton)
Goshen has rejoined the chat recently, but the Listed Contenders Hurdle which he won at Sandown two weeks ago ended up being a penalty kick for him.
Neither Guard Your Dreams, nor Song For Someone showed anything like their best form, most notably the latter. Given how unreliable he had been previously, he is still opposable with a more progressive horse.
There is certainly one of those here, with ADAGIO among the leading British hopes for the Champion Hurdle. He ran a cracker in last year’s Triumph Hurdle and there was little wrong with his second in the Greatwood Hurdle on his return under top weight.
It’s been a slight surprise that he has been off the track since, but in receipt of 3lb from Goshen he should take some beating.
Fakir D’oudairies (3.38 Ascot)
If anywhere near his best, FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES should prove that he is far superior in this race.
He has been second at the last two Cheltenham Festivals, first in the Arkle and second in the Ryanair to Allaho. After that Festival run, he was a ready winner of the Melling Chase at Aintree.
Although he has not performed to his maximum the last twice, both behind Allaho again, he also won very impressively on his return for the season at Clonmel in November. That was over this trip and on soft ground, so he should have every opportunity of winning once again.
Mister Fisher is taken to be the main danger after getting back to winning ways last time out. The runner-up that day, Eldorado Allen, won the Denman Chase in a surprise on Saturday.