Saturday’s Daily Double – 9/1 double covering Grade Twos at Ascot and Haydock

Jon Vine takes rolls his NAP and Next Best into this Daily Double, covering ITV races at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday 18th January.

I thought I was on for my second winning double of the week when Fado Des Brosses won yesterday, only for my NAP Wrendorf to flop in the final leg. As part of our Daily Tips, I’ve rolled my two best bets in Saturday’s ITV races into my Daily Double. Best odds available here with William Hill.

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Saturday’s Daily Double

1:50pm Ascot Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield) (Grade 2) 2m7½f

Papagana gave a good account of herself in the Marsh Hurdle at Ascot last time out, crossing the line just a few lengths behind The Worlds End and L’Ami Serge. I don’t think that was the highest-quality Grade One. It was run at a very slow pace and Oliver Sherwood’s mare was gaining seven-pounds on her male rivals that day too.

Out of the two, MAGIC OF LIGHT (NB) is much the classier mare and Jessica Harrington’s Grand National runner-up looks a good bet to retain her title, despite having to shoulder a three-pound penalty.

Since that narrow loss to Tiger Roll, Magic Of Light has been seen just twice. First, suffering a lengthy lead behind Bacardy’s and Apple’s Jade in the Lismullen Hurdle. Field Exhibition was then serving it up to Robbie Power’s mount at Newbury, but a fall at the final flight that day allowed Magic Of Light to canter home virtually unopposed.

Magic Of Light gutsed out an impressive victory in this race 12 months ago, pulling clear of the game Jester Jet after the last to win by four lengths. Harrington’s nine-year-old improved with her running in each of the past two seasons and boasts some strong form on heavy ground to bolster her claims.

2:05pm Haydock Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m

Having edged out Tolworth winner, Fiddlerontheroof earlier in the campaign, Edwardstone has garnered a hefty reputation and comfortably leads the way in the betting. While he’s obviously progressive, he hasn’t achieved half of what THEBANNERKINGREBEL (NAP) has and, with a victory on heavy ground under his belt, I feel like Jamie Snowden’s seven-year-old is overpriced sitting on 2/1.

Having returned from 13-months off the track to push McFabulous all the way to the line in the Grade Two bumper at Aintree, Thebannerkingrebel cruised to victory in two modest novice contests during May and June. Gavin Sheehan’s mount then came to the last cruising on his first start of the regular season, and certainly had Proschema covered when falling at the final flight.

Despite that fall, Thebannerkingrebel was still the overwhelming favourite heading into the Newton Novices’ Hurdle here at Haydock in November. Gavin Sheehan made every inch of the running, jumping nicely along the inside. As Calva D’Auge began to close in, Sheehan and his mount kicked on again and could even afford to ease down in the strides before the line and still win by five lengths.

On his second bumper start, Thebannerkingrebel won well on heavy ground. Edwardstone, in contrast, has only ever run on soft ground, and he was beaten by Chantry House on that occasion. So, with course and ground form firmly in his favour, I’m hopeful Thebannerkingrebel will prove himself to be a dangerous outsider in the Supreme betting and claim Rossington Main glory.