Ascot Friday Preview - 17/12/21

Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 12:35
2
Sean Houlihan

Earth Lord

J:
 
Sean Houlihan
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 5
Weight: 11-11
OR: 127
Days: 29

The first race of the day at Ascot on Friday is the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle and we are siding with Earth Lord.

This 5-y-o son of Mahler relished the step up in distance when bolting up as our NAP selection last time out and he now steps into handicap company off a workable mark of 127.

Today's drying ground is a positive and his age group have won four of the previous six renewals.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/22KEM21Gd11-71
12/02/22WAR21GS11-72
15/01/22KEM21Sft11-17
17/12/21ASC21.5GS11-111
18/11/21WCN21.5Gd10-121
Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 13:10
3
Nico de Boinville

Kincardine

J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 4
Weight: 11-4
OR: N/A
Days: 21

The Maiden Hurdle over 2m 5 1/2f comes next and Kincardine for Nicky Henderson and the Queen looks a big player in this one.

The four year old son of Kayf Tara has only been seen twice to date, winning a bumper at Southwell in good fashion and then last time out made his hurdles debut.

Stepping up to 2m 4 1/2f at Newbury in November, he was seen finishing third behind the impressive Stage Star and if improving for that first start over timber, he could be the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/02/22NBY16.5Sft11-61
17/12/21ASC21.5GS11-4PU
26/11/21NBY20.5GS10-113
25/05/21STH16GS10-81
Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 13:45
3
Tom Bellamy

Red Rookie

J:
 
Tom Bellamy
T:
 
Emma Lavelle
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 133
Days: 44

The third event of the day sees the Limited Handicap Chase and we have two selections in this race with three places on offer.

The first is the Emma Lavelle trained Red Rookie who looks an exciting type for the yard over fences this term, having been a nice hurdles horse.

Landing both his bumper runs two seasons ago, he was then sent over hurdles last term and got off the mark at the second time of asking at Sandown over two miles.

He has been seen twice more in his career since, finishing fourth of 11 in a decent hurdles event in March and then on chase debut this term was a good second behind a nice type for Martin Keighley.

He runs of 6lb higher for this event today but still looks better than a mark of 133 and should go well.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/03/22CHL16GS11-4F
04/01/22HER16GS10-121
17/12/21ASC17GS11-5F
03/11/21CHP16GS11-02
20/03/21UTT20GS11-84
Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 13:45
2
Harry Cobden

Thyme White

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 11-6
OR: 134
Days: 29

At a bigger price the Paul Nicholls trained Thyme White is an interesting runner making his second start over fences, having been a horse over hurdles with ability but sometimes not giving his true running.

He was last seen winning in October 2020, when putting up a superb performance at Chepstow in the Limited handicap Hurdle for 4-Y-O's.

Not being at his best after that, he was reverted to fences this season and was last seen making his debut at Wincanton when a good second behind rival Amarillo Sky.

He runs off the same mark of 134 for this event and if improving again can be a player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/04/22AIN16GS11-1F
27/03/22ASC17Gd11-122
29/12/21DON16.5Sft11-81
17/12/21ASC17GS11-6UR
18/11/21WCN15.5Gd11-82
Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 14:20
5
Harry Skelton

Elle Est Belle

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 5
Weight: 10-12
OR: 132
Days: 20

The first Grade Two event of the afternoon is the Howden Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle and we believe the value lies with the Dan Skelton trained Elle Est Belle.

Having won an Aintree and Cheltenham bumper on her first two starts, with the latter being in Listed Company, she then went in the Champion Bumper and finished a good third behind the two Irish raiders Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard.

Looking to go better in Aintree's Grade Two bumper she had to settle for second behind another nice Irish type.

Sent hurdling this term by the Skelton's she was seen only finishing third behind two nice runners for Alan King and Nicky Henderson on debut, but it was not a bad effort.

She took on the same two runners next time out and having stripped fitter for her debut and more experienced at her flights she went on to get off the mark in taking fashion.

Big player getting weight off the field.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/02/22HUN19.5Sft11-31
17/12/21ASC15.5GS10-124
27/11/21NBY16.5GS11-01
04/11/21NBY16.5Gd10-123
08/04/21AIN17GS11-02
Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 14:55
4
Harry Cobden

Pic D'Orhy

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 152
Days: 21

Another nice event on the card is the Grade Two Howden Noel Novices' Chase and we believe Pic D'Orhy will be very tough to beat if getting a clear round.

Pic D'Orhy has been a frustrating, but very talented horse for yard since going fences, possessing a lot of ability but not finishing as many races as he should of.

As a hurdler he was very similar being up and down with his runs, but his best event to date came back in February 2020 when landing the Grade Three Betfair Hurdle.

Sent chasing last term he was very below par, not winning easy events that he was favourite for and also showing a tendency to clatter a fence.

However, this term he has been seen twice to much better effect, getting off the mark for the first time over fences at Ffos Las and then last time out when looking sure to go close again, took another unfortunate tumble.

If being able to get round he looks the one to beat on ability.

Ascot - December 17 2021
Ascot 15:30
4
Harry Skelton

Doyouknowwhatimean

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 4
Weight: 11-4
OR: N/A
Days: 58

The final event of the afternoon is the Listed Championship Open National Hunt Flat Race and we like the look of the first string for Dan Skelton with Doyouknowwhatimean.

The four year old is thought of highly at the yard and having cost £85,000 as a three year old, they could have a lot of fun with him over the years.

Having only been seen once to date, the son of Martaline made a nice debut at Worcester in October when third behind a nice type for Paul Nicholls called Onethreefivenotout.

He is sure to come on for that run and at a decent double figure price he looks an each way contender.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/02/22MAR16.5Sft11-25
17/12/21ASC15.5GS11-411
20/10/21WOR16Sft10-133

James Mackie

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