Who To Follow At Ascot On Saturday - 19/02/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 15:38
Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies

J: Mark Walsh
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 164
Days: 27

The horse we fancy to have a big chance in the feature race is the Irish raider Fakir D'oudairies for Joseph O'Brien who holds some highly consistent form.

Bounding onto the scene in the UK when bolting up in a Grade Two at Cheltenham for juveniles. His impressive antics saw the gold and green of McManus swoop and purchase him before he was sent off favourite for that years’ Supreme. 

Beaten into the he stayed on like a trooper and hinted then that his future could lie over further than the minimum trip. 

Immediately moved to chasing, he made handy use of his four year old weight for age allowance. Beating Melon on chase debut, he was then a lucky winner of the Grade One Drinmore when Samcro blundered two out. 

Second in last years’ Arkle he again looked tapped for a bit of pace, but again put in a solid performance to take Put The Kettle on all the way.

In open company he’s ran over two miles being beaten by Notebook, three miles where he didn’t stay the trip and pulled up and then dropped right back down to two miles to be second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase.

He then headed into the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival and was again another solid second behind the wide margin winner Allaho, who would have beaten anyone on the day.

Next time out the six year old gave a career best performance over fences to take the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree, seeing off the likes of Politologue.

Looking to round the season off in style he went up to three miles for the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup and although finished third he was a long way behind Clan Des Obeaux and Al Boum Photo, with the three miles being too far.

This term he returned in the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase at Thurles when bolting up by 15 lengths and off the back of that he ran onto into fourth a star studded renewal of the Grade One John Durkan Chase.

Sent back to Thurles last time out against long time rival Allaho, he could only manage a 12 length second in the Grade Two Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase.

O'Brien is hoping that his gelding can keep up his consistent record and in a fairly weak Grade One it offers a huge opportunity for him to get back in the winners enclosure.


Trainer To Follow - Chris Gordon

Trainer Chris Gordon sends a strong team of horses to Ascot on Saturday and currently being in some fine form he could see some of horses pick up some nice prize money.

In the first race of the day he fields the six year old Unanswered Prayers, who was a nice winner two starts ago and will be looking to get back to that form.

In the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices' Chase he fields Annual Invictus, who is another horses that started the season off nicely and will be looking to get back on track in this.

Highway One O Two goes for Gordon in the 2m3f Handicap Hurdle and he is not without a chance and then in the three Handicap Hurdle he is looking for Smurphy Enki to get back to form.

Finally in the bumper he has a big chance with Presenting A Queen who was second in a P2P and she now makes her rules debut.

Gordon heads into the meeting at the Berkshire track sporting a 22% strike rate for the last few days, managing four winners from 18 runners.

Jockey To Follow - Niall Houlihan

Handy claimer Naill Houlihan looks to have a great book of rides for Gary Moore on Saturday at Ascot and with that in mind becomes the jockey to follow.

In the first race of the day he sits on last time out winner Hecouldbetheone, who does harbour a penalty but looks a very talented horse.

In the Listed Swinley Chase he rides course and distance winner Larry who needs to bounce back to form but does like it round here.

Finally, one of his best chances of the day comes on the highly consistent Imphal, who is still very well handicapped and could run a big race.