The focus of the racing world will be on Keeneland today where Golden Horn and American Pharaoh look to cement their places in the thoroughbred history books.
But there are plenty of appetisers to get stuck into before the main event, courtesy of top class jumps action at Wetherby and Ascot.
bet365 Charlie Hall Chase
Wetherby stages the Charlie Hall and a case can be made for all 7 runners, although it’s slightly surprising to see Cue Card at the head of the market after an uninspiring campaign last season.
David Pipe looks to have a strong hand with Dynaste and BALLYNAGOUR and we are going to take a chance on the latter.
He still has to prove conclusively that he can cut it at this level over this trip, but his talent is there for all to see and he runs his best races off of a decent break. He also acts on the ground, although it may stretch his stamina. He has the right man on board to conserve his energy and deliver him late.
|Ballynagour (ew)||3.05 Wetherby||13/2||BetVictor, Stan James|
bet365.com Novices’ Chase
Slight stamina doubts have put us off Rock On Ruby in the West Yorkshire Hurdle, so the best bet on the rest of the Wetherby card is SOUTHFIELD ROYALE in the Novices Chase.
He was a progressive handicap hurdler last season and is bred to be an even better chaser. He ran a nice race on debut over these fences recently and that experience combined with the step up in trip should make him hard to beat.
|Southfield Royale (win)||1.25 Wetherby||13/8||Unibet|
Byrne Group Handicap Chase
There are two good handicap chases at Ascot and in the first, the Byrne Group Listed Chase, it is hard to look beyond SGT RECKLESS who is the most unexposed of these.
He was a top class novice hurdler in his day and wasn’t disgraced when thrown in at the deep end in the Arkle in the spring. It would be disappointing were he not to prove capable of winning races off this mark.
|Sgt Reckless (ew)||2.15 Ascot||9/2||BetVictor, Stan James, Coral|
Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase
The Sodexo Gold Cup over 3m looks wide open, but Lucy Wadham has her string in fine fettle and her big chaser, LE REVE, has always looked the sort to keep improving with age.
Another in form trainer is David Bridgwater and NO BUTS looks dangerous at the foot of the weights. He is lightly raced and open to improvement and could relish the step up in trip here.
Finally, at the prices, we can’t resist a few quid on DOUBLE ROSS, who is starting to tumble down the handicap thanks to some uninspiring recent form. However, he was thrown into a sequence of top class races last season where he had no realistic chance and he may resume winning ways now back at his rightful level.
|Le Reve (ew)||3.25 Ascot||12/1||Bet365, BetVictor|
|Double Ross (ew)||3.25 Ascot||22/1||Bet365, BetVictor|
|No Buts (ew)||3.25 Ascot||16/1||Bet365, BetVictor|