Ascot - Saturday 20th February
ROBIN T - Ascot
2.25 - Chase (Limited Handicap) - 3 miles - 11 run - Soft (dry forecast no more rain)
A fascinating race and the confidence in the selections is not tempered by confidence in them or the logic more in the quality of a field it's hard to rule much out of.
In that regard I do think that Hill Sixteen and Cloudy Glen are not well handicapped and can by overlooked for that reason and Musical Slave may just still need the run.
At bigger prices both Regal Encore, very much a Course specialist who won here in the Autumn off a mark of 145 and who is always worth a small each way investment here and Sub Lieutenant, a once very good Chaser who may find a new leash of life over in the UK with Georgie Howell, having moved from the De Bromhead yard, and who has 4lbs to find with Regal Encore on collateral form of a more recent race here, both have very decent each way claims and could out-run their Odds significantly. IF you want to throw a bit of shrapnel at something over-priced, clearly one or both of those should be in your line of sight.
Jerrysback should really be beating both of them on collateral form and is a progressive horse with every chance here but I don't think the odds offer value. Notachance would have an excellent chance IF running but this looks a "plan b" on entries today; we got COBOLOBO absolutely spot on when tipping to win at 12/1 at Exeter on it's penultimate run, it ran very well here last time, perhaps starting to burst the bubble of doubt about its inconsistency, this is a step up but if he's turned a corner and matured consistency wise, another big run would not surprise and if either selection didn't run, would be a confident third choice pick.
Newtide I can leave alone at the price, very lightly raced, had a wind operation, classy horse but with so many niggles at the odds one I'm prepared to take on and take my chance.
The pair who intrigue me most are as much fancies in terms of actual form and handicap marks but also in the fact that they run best when running prominently, I think it's an asset round here and provided they don't cut each others throats and take each other on at a suicidal tempo, I'm confident both could and should be bang in contention.
We tipped CAPTAIN CHAOS last time and it went right in to the Tracker and notebook, lovely bold front running effort at Warwick over 5 furlongs further, enjoys this trip, a horse who can run from fence to fence and if it turns in at or near the front off sensible fractions won't be stopping up the hill. It has won in the distant past right handed, that was my only niggle so a confident selection.
YALLTARI looks a typical Venetia Chaser and she does love a tilt at this Course, it's been held up a few times lately but best runs are prominent and I have a hunch this will be a day when they will let the choke out (those of a certain age will understand that phrase more than others), very nice handicap mark if running to optimum tactics and a bit more than quietly fancied if they adopt them.
TRACKERS - Captain Chaos and Yalltari
ASCOT 4.10 - Handicap Hurdle - Class 3 - 3 miles - 15 run - Soft
A lot come in great form and it's hard to ignore Zhighuli, Flight Deck (especially); J'Ai Froid and at bigger odds Ruby Yeates does jump off the page a bit especially when you find some old form at a trip some think is too far.
However, I've followed REVELS HILL with interest since being tipped off by a very shrewd observer that it is a horse very very well thought of and I think today is the day some of that potential will be unleashed. I also think that Saint Dalina a very solid each way punt to enhanced places.
TIP - REVELS HILL - Tracker - Saint Delina