Welcome to Arseonlineraing…
Today Jamie & Chris take you through their thoughts for today’s National Hunt racing from Taunton & Ascot.
Charlie & Rich will be concentrating on the Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream & will publish their thoughts later!
Jamie leads the line today with Chris, so let’s crack on with their thoughts….
2:45 – Taunton: Handicap Hurdle –
Life has been a bit of a struggle for Brewin’upastorm since he was sent over fences which means that Olly Murphy’s charge might just be worth chancing back over hurdles. Yes, he is out of form and hasn’t beaten a single rival over fences this season in two starts but there is some hope that he can bounce back to form today. He drops down from Grade 1 company to a class 2 and back over hurdles, it could relight the fire inside him and he should find the slower tempo at this class a lot easier. It was here at Taunton in November 2019 when Brewin’upastorm last registered a victory, so we know that he handles the track. I expect him to be right in the thick of the action in the closing stages.
3:35 – Ascot: Clarence House Chase –
Selection: Defi De Sueil
After a couple of poor efforts Defi De Sueil has some questions to answer today in what is a hot edition of the Clarence House. Phillips Hobbs’s stable star ran poorly at Cheltenham on his season reappearance when Richard Johnson had to pull him up before the last. At the time of writing this he is good value at the prices if he can recapture his best and recent reports from the Hobbs stable suggest he is back to his best. He was most impressive in how he seen of Un De Sceaux in this race last year, the stiff test of this contest on soft ground (which he likes), should play to his strengths but he will have to be on his A – game to win today against Politologue and Waiting Patiently. Waiting Patiently is a major danger in my eyes after a cracking effort in the King George. What a fascinating race in prospect.
4:10 – Ascot: British EBF Novice Hurdle –
Selection: Jeremy Pass
A decent little Novice Hurdle to round off a great card at Ascot. I am siding with recent Wincanton scorer Jeremy Pass who sauntered clear of a dual winner in the shape of Sizeable Sam. The form is strong and he is clearly commands respect in this field of six. Valleres brings graded form to the table after being beaten by Star Gate at Sandown. The winner then went close in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle next time out. He is more value at the prices but it was only a three runner race ay Sandown so I am not convinced by form. Paul Nichols has his string in fine form and I’m hoping that he will not find the ground too soft for Jeremy’s Pass. It could be another big Saturday for Harry Cobden.
1.50 Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle
Danny Kirwan has always been thought of as a nice prospect and it seemed connections patience had finally been rewarded with a win at Ascot in November. He found 3 miles too far at Cheltenham last time out and a return to this trip seems the logical move. Soft ground suits and a mark of 133 is more than reasonable for his handicap debut; I’m expecting a good run at a currently very fair each-way price.
3.00 Bet365 Handicap Chase
I tipped up Espoir De Guye here last time in December, having excelled during his previous 2 course runs. Sadly 3 miles on bottomless ground was just a stretch too far and is another who should appreciate the return to this intermediate test. He’s 5lb’s higher than his previous course and distance win, but after just 6 chase starts we may not have seen his ceiling just yet. It would be no surprise were he to make the frame here or return to winning ways at Ascot for the 3rd time, with trainer Venetia Williams once again enjoying success with her runners in the mud.
3.35 Clarence House Chase
I don’t put up many short priced favourites, however given his record over the past 12 months I was surprised to see Politologue currently trading above even money. Paul Nicholls has found the key to unlock plenty of improvement from his talented grey, allowing plenty of time between races and letting his charge use his jumping to good effect by running his rivals ragged from the front. This renewal looks strong, but the favourites credentials look much more compelling than his rivals.
That’s the lads thoughts & another blog will be published to cover Gulfstream…
Thanks for popping by & for your continued support…
All the Best – The Arseonlineracing Team