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Saturday’s Lucky 15 – Our Best Bets On February 19

There looks to be an exhilarating Saturday of racing ahead. The two key meetings at Ascot and Haydock come under the microscope for our editor’s 4,911/1 Lucky 15 top tips.

Sam Brown (2.40 Haydock)

Anthony Honeyball’s ten-year-old was an extremely promising novice chaser in the 2019/20 season, but has not made it to the racecourse often since.

SAM BROWN looks set for a clear season from injury now though. He was a distant third to Protektorat in the Many Clouds Chase in December, but that was a very tough race for his seasonal return.

The following month, he put in arguably the top performance of his career when only narrowly denied in the Peter Marsh at Haydock by course specialist Royale Pagaille. That suggested a step up in trip was within his range and he is only up 2lb for that effort.

This will take some staying, but there is no doubt he is talented enough and he will surely have benefited from regular racing for the first time in a while.

Highway One O Two (3.00 Ascot)

HIGHWAY ONE O TWO has been much better on his last two starts and is returning to something like his best form.

He looked set for the very top when winning in Graded company as a novice hurdler, but totally lost his way for the best part of two years. However, the last twice, since being stepped up to more intermediate distances, he has improved significantly once again.

He won at Taunton at class 3 level, then ran a stormer from the front to be second in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton. He is only up 1lb for that runner-up finish to a very progressive rival and the form has worked out very well since.

Bushypark (3.15 Haydock)

Hugely progressive in the 2020/2 season over hurdles, BUSHYPARK went up 49lb in the handicap after winning five races, two of which came at Haydock.

He also continued to improve by going up in trip, winning this race last year when upped to three miles for the first time, and also won over a similar trip on his chase debut at Kelso in December.

The wheels have come off over fences since, but back over hurdles, for a horse who improved so dramatically last term, he is right back in the mix for a sixth success.

Art Of Diplomacy (4:10 Ascot)

This six-year-old, trained by Dr Richard Newland, simply looks to have the most potential and it is surprising that he is not the favourite here.

ART OF DIPLOMACY has won two of his last three, finishing second in between two victories. However, that runner-up finish saw him beat the third by 28 lengths and but for bumping into a winner with a similar profile to him, he’d be chasing a four-timer here.

The change of yard has appeared to work very well for him and he readily put the race to bed at Catterick last time. He will definitely stay, should cope with the going and Cillin Leonard’s 5lb claim can only be a positive too.