ITV Saturday Haydock And Ascot Preview - 18/12/21

Ascot - December 18 2021
Ascot 13:50
7
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Palmers Hill

J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Jonjo O'Neill
Age: 8
Weight: 10-11
OR: 134
Days: 35

A smart event on the Ascot card is the Class 2 Handicap Chase over 2m3f and the horse we are siding with is Jonjo O'Neill trained Palmers Hill.

The eight year old Palmers Hill looks an extremely interesting type for JP McManus who could have a big season over fences this term.

Having been hit and miss over the last few seasons he made a very pleasing return to action this term when taking a handicap chase at Wetherby over 2m3f.

He has only gone upto a mark of 134 off the back of that win and could still be extremely handicapped for this event.

Potentially a big player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN21GS10-79
22/01/22ASC21Sft10-9PU
18/12/21ASC19GS10-111
13/11/21WET19.5GS11-41
17/03/21CHL21GS10-69
Haydock - December 18 2021
Haydock 14:05
9
David England

Mackelduff

J:
 
David England
T:
 
Olly Murphy
Age: 5
Weight: 10-7
OR: 122
Days: 35

The first race of the day from Haydock on ITV is the Handicap Hurdle over 2m 2 1/2f and Mackleduff for Olly Murphy could take some beating off this mark.

This five year old has been a very consistent type over hurdles, starting his career last November, when fourth of 13 at Uttoxeter and off the back of that he was another nice third at Haydock.

He round off his season at Southwell, getting off the mark by 11 lengths at the third time of asking, looking like a very nice horse.

Saved for this season, the gelding made it back to back wins at Aintree racing in his first handicap off a mark of 115.

Stepped up to 122 last time out he bumped into two smart performers at Cheltenham in Gowel Road and Unexpected Party.

Off the same mark and bottom weight in this event, he could be very hard to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/03/22MAR20.5GS11-32
29/01/22UTT20Gd11-15
18/12/21HAY19Sft10-73
13/11/21CHL21Gd10-123
24/10/21AIN20Gd10-31
Ascot - December 18 2021
Ascot 14:25
9
Tom O'Brien

Thyme Hill

J:
 
Tom O'Brien
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 160
Days: 42

The feature race of the afternoon at Ascot is the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle and from the nine runners we are siding with Philip Hobbs' Thyme Hill.

Thyme Hill over the last two years has installed himself as one of the best British staying hurdlers in the sport and on Saturday he will be looking to truly show that.

After finishing a superb fourth in Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and before that winning the Challow Hurdle, many people were excited to see him in open company.

Last term he stayed over hurdles and was exceptional on all three starts, winning the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, before being chinned on the line by Paisley Park in this race last term.

He rounded off the season by getting back to winning ways in the Grade One Ryanair Stayers Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

Back for another term over hurdles at the start of November he was sent over to France for the Grade One Grand Prix d'Automne and in heavy ground he finished a weak fifth of seven, nearly 42 lengths behind the winner.

Everything went wrong for the gelding and that can certainly be put behind him with the ground for his first run back being the opposite of what he wanted.

He has been saved for this race since then and said to be fit and ready, he could take all the beating.

Haydock - December 18 2021
Haydock 14:40
2
Tom Scudamore

Remastered

J:
 
Tom Scudamore
T:
 
David Pipe
Age: 8
Weight: 11-13
OR: 146
Days: 21

The final event of the afternoon is the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase over a marathon trip and Remastered for the David Pipe yard should go well.

The eight year old gelding has been a tremendous horse for the yard over the years, last term starting his season off by landing a hat-trick of wins at Wetherby, Ascot and Carlisle.

His win at Ascot saw him step up to three miles and battle strongly to the line to land the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices' Chase.

He was then sent to the Cheltenham festival for the National Hunt Chase and was unfortunately outclassed into fifth.

Not seen again until his seasonal debut this term, he started off at Aintree in a Pertemps Handicap Hurdle finishing a narrow third behind two nice types.

This set him up perfectly for a big run in the Grade Three Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and until falling four out, he looked the most likely winner of the race.

Running off the same mark for this easier event, if non the worse for his tumble, he could be tough to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/01/22HAY25.5Sft10-74
18/12/21HAY25.5Sft11-132
27/11/21NBY26GS10-11F
06/11/21AIN24.5GS10-103
16/03/21CHL30GS11-65
Ascot - December 18 2021
Ascot 15:00
12
Sam Twiston-Davies

Checkitout

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 7
Weight: 10-8
OR: 132
Days: 14

The Listed Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase over three miles sees a very competitive betting market and with that in mind we are taking an each way punt at Checkitout for Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The gelding is weighted to go very close near the bottom of the weights having ran a cracker last time out and now 4lb lower for that.

At an each way price the son of Salutino seems to have been targeted at this and overall is a consistent horse with two wins and and two places in his last six runs.

Seen twice this season he finished a superb second in the London Gold Cup on seasonal debut behind the talented Larry for Gary Moore over course and distance.

He was last seen finished a staying on third in the Becher Chase at Aintree in tricky conditions and now on a mark of 132 he is hard not to back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/02/22NCS33.5GS10-1112
30/01/22FON27.5GS11-121
18/12/21ASC24GS10-85
04/12/21AIN26Sft9-113
30/10/21ASC24Sft10-02
Ascot - December 18 2021
Ascot 15:35
9
Nico de Boinville

No Ordinary Joe

J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 5
Weight: 10-9
OR: 136
Days: 34

The final event of the afternoon is the Grade Three Betfair Exchange Handicap Trophy and with a big field heading to post we have had two stabs at the race.

The first is the JP McManus owned gelding has been seen five times in his career to date, winning his sole bumper at Sandown in November 2020, with the second since winning over hurdles.

Moved swiftly over to hurdles himself in December last year, he bumped into the likes of My Drogo, Llandinabo Lad and Soaring Glory at Ascot in the Grade Two Supreme Trial.

He was then seen again in May and after six months off returned at Southwell over 2m4f and went on to win comfortably, backing that up at Worcester at the end of the same month.

Saved for a hurdles campaign this season, off a mark of 133 he went for the Grade Three Greatwood Handicap at Cheltenham and having jumped the last in contention he was outclassed late on, settling for third.

West Cork, who beat him that day, returns against him but now on better terms could be tough to beat off only 3lb higher.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/12/21ASC15.5GS10-9PU
14/11/21CHL16.5Gd10-123
21/05/21WOR20GS11-81
04/05/21STH20.5Gd11-21
18/12/20ASC15.5Sft11-04
Ascot - December 18 2021
Ascot 15:35
11
Bryony Frost

Onemorefortheroad

J:
 
Bryony Frost
T:
 
Neil King
Age: 6
Weight: 10-9
OR: 136
Days: 21

Our second selection in the contest is the much bigger priced Onemorefortheroad for trainer Neil King, with this horse being a winning machine of late.

The six year old has won five of his last six races, completing a hat-trick last time out when putting up a career best at Newbury when landing the Listed Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury.

Before that this season he was an easy winner at Huntingdon before winning a Novice' Hurdle at Stratford over two miles.He has only gone up 3lb for his win last time out in Listed company and if going from the front like usual he may be tough to catch off this weight.

Each way player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/03/22SAN16Sft11-34
18/12/21ASC15.5GS10-92
27/11/21NBY16.5GS10-81
09/11/21HUN16Gd11-41
28/10/21STR16.5Gd11-81

James Mackie

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