It was another huge weekend for the blog last Saturday with Village Vic banged in in the Caviar Gold Cup, but I’m not one to rest on my laurels so here we go again.
Ascot and Haydock take centrestage this Saturday, and I want to start at Ascot with the handicap chase over an extended 2m 2f at 1.50pm.
The one I like here is MON SUCCESSEUR , who has promised to land an event for champion Paul Nicholls on his last two starts but hasn’t quite managed it. There was nothing wrong with his effort behind Otago Trail last time, he just needs to be delivered at the right time.
Also at Ascot is the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at 2.25pm, and we could have a potential World Hurlde winner in Saphir de Rheu, who ran in the Hennessy last time. He’s got every chance, but I’m going to be backing REVE DE SIVOLA . He’s a three-time winner of this race already and despite his age, might just have one more big effort in him.
It’s the Silver Cupat Ascot at 3pm, and this near 3m event is a tough one. I’ll have a few quid each-way on HOUBLON DES OBEAUX who is perfectly capable of running well in a race like this off his mark of 150. He’s been disappointing of late, but this is a chance to bounce back for Venetia Williams and he has solid course form.
Finally at Ascot there’s a big near 2m handicap hurdle at 3.35pm, and I want to be with WINNER MASSAGOT , who was an easy winner at Ascot last time. Although a faller at Aintree in Grade 1 company, the selection appears to be improving fast and comes from an inform stable in that of Alan King. Should go well.
At Haydock, meanwhile, there’s a valuable handicap hurdle over an extended 2m2f at 2.05pm, and I like MONTDRAGON , who won a novice last time but may well be well handicapped off 128 for Jonjo O’Neill.
Also at Haydock it’s the Tommy Whittle at 2.40pm over nearly 2m7f, and this chase will take some getting. I’m hoping CLOUDY TOO comes back to his best. He’s a very well handicapped horse if he does off a rating of 138 for Sue Smith.
So a really hard day of mainly tough handicaps, but if we get one winner along the way Paddy will be in bits and Yeeehaaas will be flowing. Have a very Merry Christmas. I’ll be back next week for a Boxing Day preview.