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Plenty of racing about again today with the Grade 1 Lancashire Chase, one of the highlights along with the Stayers Hurdle (Both at Haydock) while at Ascot, the 1965 Chase & the Ascot Hurdle are the main attractions..
Jamie & Charlie are taking some time away but Chris & Rich are ready to go, so let’s see what we have for you today…..
Ascot – Good, Good to Soft in Places
Haydock – Good to Soft
2.25 Betfair Stayers Handicap Hurdle
A typically competitive renewal of this Grade 3 handicap, and with bookies paying extra places, I’m siding with 2 against the field at decent each-way prices:
Doctor Duffy has been mainly tried over fences during the past year, but returned to form over timber with a 2nd behind Stratum at Thurles last month after a lay-off. It’s interesting connections keep him over the smaller obstacles for a good prize today, and have already had a winner over these shores last week at Cheltenham. His hurdles mark is 10lbs shy of his chase mark; he could well put his experience to good use here.
Ask Dillon has been a staple in these staying handicap hurdles, yet he arrives here after being outclassed in the Yorkshire Hurdle 3 weeks ago. The positive is he’s been dropped 2lbs by the handicapper and faces slightly calmer waters today. With talented conditional Peter Kavanagh taking 7lbs off, he runs off the same mark as when 4th in last years race. At the current prices he is worth an each-way play.
3.00 Betfair chase
A field of 8 go to post for the first Grade 1 of the National Hunt season, and with 11 of the 12 recent winners coming from the top 3 in the betting, I’m going for the Haydock specialist Bristol De Mai to light up the Lancashire venue once more. His Racing Post Ratings at Haydock for this race read 175, 171, 175 and 182; if he turns up in A1 form one again, I don’t see how Gold Cup runner-up A Plus Tard can beat him, especially considering he’s never won first time out and usually improves for it. It would be some sight were the admirable grey to match Kauto Star with 4 wins in the race, and I’m expecting a huge run in what is always his big day.
3.15 Handicap Chase – Class2 – 4 yo Plus – 2m 167yds..
Before Midnight – Midnight Legend X Lady Samantha 8yo gelding.
3 wins from 3 runs in 2021. His last 2 wins have been over 2m in this class. He won at Chepstow back in April by 3/4’s of a length from Court Royale in a C2 handicap Chase & had a break. He returned at Cheltenham on October 23rd in a 2m C2 handicap chase, when beating Sky Pirate by 6 lengths & has been raised 8 for that win & now runs from 144 today, carrying just 10s 11Lbs, while Sky Pirate runs from the same mark but carries 11s 12lbs….
3.35 Handicap Chase – Class 2 – 4yo Plus – 3m 1f 125yds
Empire Steel – Aizavoski X Talk of rain 7yo gelding.
3 wins from 6 runs since December 2019 & has won first time after a break, the last 3 times. Was last seen pulling up at Aintree in April in the Grade 1 Midmay Novice Chase 3m 210yds, having won at Kelso in a 2m 7f C3 Novice Handicap from Protektorat by 41 lengths, who has since won a Novice Grade 1 Chase & was 2nd to Midnight Shadow in a Grade 3 Cheltenham Handicap last week.
Returns after a break of 225 days….
That is everything for you today folks, thanks for your support & for popping by, we really appreciate it.
Good Luck – The Arseonlineracing Team