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Richard Hoiles: 4 Saturday selections for Ascot and Haydock

22 Dec | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: 4 Saturday selections for Ascot and Haydock
Richard Hoiles Betway column

The racing broadcaster says the main betting opportunities this weekend revolve around the major races, with three tips for Ascot and another for Haydock.

Rather unusually, it looks as if the main betting opportunities this weekend revolve around the major races from Ascot and Haydock. The higher-profile races tend to undergo more scrutiny from punters and market makers alike, so the best markets to get involved in are often those that are likely to attract less attention and turnover where the chances of misprices are higher.

HOWDEN LONG WALK HURDLE

The feature race of ITV’s six-race coverage is the Grade 1 Howden Long Walk Hurdle (Ascot, 14:25) which features a return clash between the popular pair Dashel Drasher and Paisley Park who served up a real treat at Newbury last month. It is always tempting to let the heart rule the head, but it is quite easy to question how deep the form is given Marie’s Rock underperforming and the proximity of Flight Deck, beaten just two lengths and rated 142. From Paisley Park’s perspective, the quiet time Emma Lavelle is currently having (with a losing streak of 31 at the time of writing) is also a concern.

Crambo, West Balboa and Blueking D’oroux will all be looking for a first success at the highest level but have generally been well found in the market and look to be priced up on potential with current marks only in the 140s. 

Preference, therefore, is for the mercurial CHAMP 5/1 and it is his record fresh which is the deciding factor. His record after breaks of more than 200 days is five wins and two seconds which includes a victory in this race in 2021 with Paisley Park back in third. He has had a wind operation since his last run, has fewer miles on the clock than either Paisley Park or Dashel Drasher, and has won four times at Grade 1 level during his career.

ELSEWHERE AT ASCOT

CAP DU MATHAN 11/4 gave the impression that he was just in need of the outing on his reappearance here last month in a strong-looking form race won by Boothill. Boothill and Saint Segal both ran well in a similar handicap three weeks later and, with that run under his belt, Cap Du Mathan looks to have a favourable pace set-up to make all under Harry Cobden (Ascot, 13:50).

BLACKJACK MAGIC 7/2 can land his second major chasing handicap of the season in the Howden Silver Cup over three miles (Ascot, 15:00). He has made up into a progressive young chaser and took the scalps of some far more seasoned rivals when winning the Badger Beer at Wincanton, and a rise of just 6lb still leaves him looking ahead of the handicapper. 

These are long-standing colours of owners that place their horses very effectively and this valuable prize is likely to have been identified a while ago. The other plus is the terrific form of Anthony Honeyball who has had a terrific month with six winners and another six places from 27 runners (actual/expected ratio of 1.56).

ONE FOR HAYDOCK

Elsewhere, BOIS GUILLBERT 9/2 can enhance his reputation with a win in the 2m Handicap Hurdle (Haydock, 14:05) providing he settles better than he did at Cheltenham when third to Blueking D’oroux. 

One thing you really must not do in deep ground is over-race and waste energy but, prior to that, he had got home fine over Hexham’s stiff two miles and definitely has the potential to cope with a mark of 121. Both Blueking D’oroux and fourth-placed Spirit D’Aunou won next time out so the form looks very solid with the former stepping up to Grade 1 company in the Long Walk at Ascot.

JOCKEYS FOR COURSES

Here’s our regular list ofriders in action at tracks where they have a very good career record:

  • Ascot – Charlie Deutsch (16/69, 1.70 A/E)
  • Haydock – Sean Bowen (15/60, 1.56 A/E)
  • Lingfield – Trevor Whelan (23/185, 1.43 A/E)

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and there will be blogs on both Boxing Day and the 27th covering some quality festive cards.

SATURDAY SELECTIONS:

CAP DU MATHAN 11/4 (Ascot, 13:50)

BOIS GUILLBERT 9/2 (Haydock, 14:05)

CHAMP 5/1 (Ascot, 14:25)

BLACKJACK MAGIC 7/2 (Ascot, 15:00)

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Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.