Weekend racing preview - Cyrname chases Ascot Chase glory
The Cheltenham Festival draws ever nearer and with just four weeks to go until the greatest four days of the National Hunt racing calendar, Grade One action takes centre stage at Ascot with the £100,000 Ascot Chase (3.35pm) at the Berkshire venue.
We have previewed the pick of another stellar weekend of action with tips and analysis.
Paul Nicholls is doubly represented as he attempts to win the race for the third time. If successful in this year’s contest, Ditcheat maestro Nicholls will become the joint most successful trainer in the race’s history along with David Pipe on four wins.
Nicholls’ main hope is the 13/8 market leader Cyrname. He was a brilliant winner of this event in 2019 when demolishing his rivals by 19 lengths. He went on to beat Altior back at Ascot in November, 2019 before finishing second in the 2019 King George. A faller in this race last year, he bounced back to form with a stunning success in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October. The nine-year-old was pulled-up in the King George last time out, but if anywhere near the pick of his 2019 form, he is certainly the one to beat.
Master Tommytucker (10/3) has improved his jumping this term and tasted Graded success at Kempton last time out. He will be partnered by Daryl Jacob and looks the main challenge to his stablemate.
Dashel Drasher (11/2) is turning into an Ascot specialist with a 100% record at the track. He defeated Benny’s King (9/1) at the track last time out and whilst this step up to Grade One company demands a career best, he cannot be ignored and is the selection of Betting Expert’s Stephen Harris.
Riders On the Storm is the 18/1 outsider of the field, but did win this event last season. If he can return to that sort of form, then could outrun his odds.
The Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (1.50pm) has six runners including Full Back who has looked a stylish prospect on his last two outings. He looks a leading player along with Demachine who was only third on his latest start, but is a previous course and distance winner.
Others of interest include Remastered, successful on his first two runs this season and Sevarano who was fourth at Newbury last time out following two stylish wins at the beginning of this term. Hurricane Harvey and Kalooki complete the six runners.
The other leading action comes from Haydock with the £75,000 Grand National Trial (2.40pm). The market is headed by Notachance (4/1) who is unbeaten in two starts this season, which included a smart success at Warwick last time out.
Other towards the top of the market include Enqarde (11/2) who scored at Ascot last time out and sneaks in off bottom weight. Welsh National second The Two Amigos (7/1) is another capable of further improvement along with Sojourn (15/2) who has form over the track and excels on heavy going.
Elsewhere, the £15,000 Juvenile Hurdle (3.14pm) has four runners going to post for the two-mile event. Nassalam was second in Grade One company on his latest start for Gary Moore and looks a leading player along with Monmiral who is unbeaten in two starts for Paul Nicholls. Elham Valley and Progressive, who both finished fourth on their last runs complete the quartet.
1.15pm Ascot - Midnight River
1.50pm Ascot - Kalooki
2.05pm Haydock - Itchy Feet
2.25pm Ascot - Musical Slave
2.40pm Haydock - Enqarde
3.00pm Ascot - Pileon
3.14pm Haydock - Nassalam
3.35pm Ascot - Dashel Drasher
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Tips and analysis via Betting Expert