Ascot and Haydock are our headline acts this weekend with the Peter Marsh Chase and the Clarence House featuring Altior to look forward to, though with no real betting opportunities there for us we turn our attention to the support races and also get a little help from the Flat card at Lingfield too.
We have some big priced outsiders who look set to go well later on in the day, but we kick off with a quality Grade 2 at Ascot and what should be a sure thing at Lingfield Park on the all-weather:
1.50 Ascot (Warfield Hurdle – Grade 2) – MAGIC OF LIGHT
Jessica Harrington is a crack trainer of all types and if she is sending this mare over to Ascot from Ireland having previously won a chase event at Newbury (Listed) then I think we should sit up and take notice.
Looking back at what level she reached over hurdles back in 2017, she started off at a broadly similar rate over the larger obstacles but has improved no end in recent times, culminating in her very easy win at Listed level in December giving her a completely different look now she’s back over the timber.
From starting to write this article to finishing it off, this mare has gone from a general 7/2 shot to an 11/4 joint-favourite so it appears there is definitely some confidence behind her!
Assuming her improvement is overall and not just when going over the larger obstacles, she looks good value to take care of If You Say Run of Paul Nicholls, who may not be that straight forward yet remains of interest, and Jester Jet who is on a run of second places and perhaps needs a bit of luck.
2.00 Lingfield (Class 2 Handicap) – REDICEAN
While it’s true that this is a handicap and in theory handicaps can be won by anything in the field, it would be a major surprise if this Redicean isn’t head and shoulders above the others in this mile-and-a-half contest all things considered.
Having gotten his act together as a decent hurdler over the winter, his overall invigoration positively affected his Flat form too when he bolted clear to score over this course and distance last month and there is no way he is handicapped to his best in the conditions.
He’s been given four weeks off which is such a professional thing to do and so we can expect another top performance at this level under Martin Harley, a jockey fully capable of guiding him round this track.
Primero may prove to be best of the rest but will need Alan King’s horse to do something wrong, while Seafarer has decent form and may also be booked for a place under Martin Dwyer.
2.05 Haydock (Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2) – ESPRIT DU LARGE
I would never use up words on these pages to boldly suggest such a heavy favourite as Mister Fisher can’t win as of course he can, there’s no doubt that he can. But at these odds there is tons of value in Evan Williams’ horse who scored easily on his hurdling debut the other day and there’s just no telling how much more there is to come from him.
His overall form, what little of it there is, is not far behind the two protagonists in this race so with lots more to come from our boy and a 3lb pull at the weights too, prices like 9/1 on Friday just look huge and so he should be backed, albeit to small stakes.
Bright Forecast has won two in a row and has drawn plenty of support in the betting but is probably a few pounds behind the favourite and in a similar league to our horse, though only around a quarter of the price.
2.25 Ascot (Handicap Hurdle – Grade 3) – COLONIAL DREAMS (E/W)
Based on his most recent form you’d be right to discount Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville’s runner from this race in all honesty, but that is not what to judge him on in my opinion and a deeper look at his form reveals something much better.
Every season so far this horse has started slowly but with a run under his belt and going into the second start of the season he seems to come into his own, so with that in mind I’d rather judge him on his course and distance maiden win in March on soft ground.
That performance, along with natural improvement of course, would see him have as good a chance as any in this race so at a general 10/1 going into Friday evening and with ¼ odds 1-2-3 available an each-way chance should be taken on him.
His best form at the weights matches up nicely with Thosedaysaregone who looks like going off favourite along with Ballymoy, neither of whom can claim to be anywhere near as good value as our horse.