Ascot Saturday Preview - 19/01/2019

12:40 - BEAT THE JUDGE

The opening race from Ascot on Saturday is the Rosling King Juvenile Hurdle, and Beat The Judge can beat them all off once again with another victory on just his second start over obstacles.

The Gary Moore-trained 4yo won on his hurdles debut over Christmas at Kempton having made considerable ground on the leaders on the bend, and ran on well towards the finish.

Formerly with Ed Vaughan on the flat, he seems to have transitioned well but will need to handle giving weight away to all his rivals.

Leading chances.

13:15 - UN PROPHETE

Un Prophete seems to have had a never ending spell of misfortune, but his recent fifth at Ludlow suggested a return a form, and now heads to the Royal venue for the Matchbook Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase.

Plenty of pull ups and falls in his form guide, he has won three chases in his career - most recently at Exeter in November four starts ago, where the form has been boosted with the runner-up winning since.

Should he get a clean run and not blunder over his obstacles, this grey can show his great turn of foot and be amongst the finish.

13:50 - MAGIC OF LIGHT

The first of three Graded races at Ascot is the OLBG.com Mares' Hurdle - registered As The Warfield Hurdle, and Magic Of Light makes a surprise return to timber for the first time since September 2017.

She has been on an absolute roll chasing, most recently bolting up at Newbury in a Mares Chase just before Christmas, with her 3/1 price that day providing a present for many.

Still looks a leading contender now switching back to the lower obstacles, and Harrington may have spotted a gap in the division, with perhaps Laurina and Apples Jade heading other ways.

Solid claims.

14:25 - SEDDON

Tom George will be hoping Seddon can get back to his best, in the Grade Three Matchbook Holloway's Handicap Hurdle, after what he felt were two sub-standard efforts at Cheltenham and here latest.

Down the field in last year's Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, he won on his hurdles bow at Stratford on the first day of November.

Despite going off an even-money favourite at Cheltenham, you could argue jumping up to Grade Two company and going on to place in two contests is creditable, so a drop to a Grade Three could go to show his level.

His defeat here last time was to the current Supreme favourite Angels Breath, so actually the form line looks pretty strong, providing Nicky Henderson's 4yo can follow up in another trial at Haydock on Saturday.

15:00 - HAPPY DIVA

In a fiercely competitive-looking bet365 Handicap Chase, Happy Diva just gets the edge from us.

Her hopes for the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham were ended when brought down four fences from the finish, when appearing to be travelling very well for Richard Patrick.

The 8yo returned to Prestbury Park on New Years Day, finishing two lengths down on Aso in a Grade Three, and she looks in solid shape this campaign.

True contender.

15:35 - ALTIOR (NO BET)

Altior is the star name on the card, as he heads a field of three for the Grade One Matchbook Clarence House Chase.

Unbeaten in 16 attempts over hurdles and fences, and is ought to extend his sensational winning run.

A class apart, this should be a simple task for Nicky Henderson's superstar with Nico De Boinville in the saddle, as they look to consolidate their short price for back-to-back Queen Mother Champion Chases.

We advise no bet with Altior no bigger than 1/8, so this watch is simply for the pleasure.

16:05 - RUSSIAN HAWK

The final race from Ascot is the Matchbook British EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle, and Russian Hawk looks a smart prospect for Colin Tizzard.

The 5yo won on his first hurdles outing at Exeter back in November, which saw the Gosden Mob land a hat-trick of wins.

Looks fairly progressive, and will be sure to deliver some sort of challenge.

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