My tip for the Long Walk Hurdle is the rapidly improving Sam Spinner, who really knocked the eye out with the manner of his victory in an incredibly competitive handicap at Haydock.
All the other horses who tried to go with him at the finish tailed off, while he kept ploughing on relentlessly. It was his first attempt at a real test of stamina and he remains completely unexposed in this sphere. Whilst he has a little to find on ratings with the market leaders I’m fairly confident he’ll bridge that gap before too long and the price available just looks too big. In addition, he could get a relatively untroubled time of things in the lead.
At bigger prices still, I’m half interested in a horse who finished miles behind him at Haydock but didn’t give his running on that occasion. The Worlds End looked like a horse who had loads of ability but may have needed the race or just wasn’t quite himself. With that run under his belt and more confident noises from the stable I’d be fairly sure he could run a much bolder race.
Half an hour earlier I’m keen on another horse from the same Haydock race, who reverts to fences off an attractive handicap mark: Theos Charm. One thing we know is that he will have no problem no matter how soft the ground is, he ran a fine race at Plumpton on his seasonal debut and it is likely that the drop back in trip will suit, so long as the early pace is strong enough.
In the big Handicap Chase at 3.00pm, I’m quite keen on On Tour, who I’m fairly sure would have beaten Gold Present had he stood up at Newbury. He’s had relatively few chances to run right handed in his career but he’s won twice running this way round and he’s also run a solid race over hurdles at Ascot in the past. Its a very tight race where Mitchell Bastyan’s claim could prove crucial.
In the concluding handicap hurdle, I’m going to take a bit of a chance with outsider, Veinard, from Gordon Elliott’s stable. He’s a horse who’ll break your heart because he rarely finds anything at all off the bridle, but has enough talent to cruise into a race as competitive as this as he showed when he finished 6th at Newbury last year.
He’s shown plenty of ability since, without doing any damage to his handicap mark and I suspect this race might be well enough run to fall apart round him – at least, that’s what I’m hoping. Either way, at these odds, he’s to big a price to ignore and I’ll be backing him each way.
Nick’s Ascot Picks…
1.50 – Theo’s Charm.
2.25 – Sam Spinner or The Worlds End E/w
3.00 – On Tour
3.35 – Veinard E/W.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.