Ascot Saturday Preview - 19/02/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 13:50
Derek Fox

Corach Rambler

J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
OR: 140
Days: 35

The first race we have a selection in at Ascot on Saturday is the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices' Chase over three miles and the Lucinda Russell trained Corach Rambler ticks a lot of boxes.

Being a fair hurdler last term winning two of his three events, he has turned into an event better chaser, showing that stamina is a forte.

Making his seasonal/chase debut in September at Perth he finished a fair third behind two progressive types over 2m4f.

Getting the step up in trip to 3m1f next time out at Aintree, he ran out a very easy winner of a Limited Handicap Chase.

He then went to Cheltenham in December and up 7lb to a mark of 134 landed a similar event in taking fashion.

Last time out he was seen in the highly competitive Grade Three Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick over a marathon trip and he stayed on well into fourth off top weight.

Into better company today off level weights, also down to his preferred trip he has a big chance at the prices.

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 14:25
Brendan Powell


J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 155
Days: 84

Another nice event on the Ascot card is the Listed Swinley Chase and we can't look past the top weighted Fiddlerontheroof for the Tizzard's.

Fiddlerontheroof burst onto the novice hurdle scene two seasons ago with an impressive win in the Grade One Tolworth at Sandown on deep ground. 

He looked severely outpaced in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle after that and could only manage 11th, but after a break he returned to the track as a chaser in October.

Starting in a tight three runner field, he ran well enough for his first outing with If The Cap Fits running out the winner. 

His next start yielded his first chase win when taking out a Beginners Chase at Exeter and after that, he finished second in three Grade Two races over fences. 

Beaten by Caribean Boy at Newbury over 2.5 miles and then Allart over the same trip at Ascot, Fiddlerontheroof was sent off favourite both times and found one too good on each occasion. 

Moved up in trip to three miles, he again only contested in a small field. Coming second this time to Next Destination, but overall it was an improved run

It was another second for the Bridesmaid last at the Cheltenham festival in the Grade One Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, this time giving a career best performance to only be beaten by Monkfish.

He finished off last term at Aintree in the Mildmay Novices' Chase and having been burnt out throughout the season he could only manage third, a long way behind the winner.

Back for another season this term, this time going into open company, he made a very impressive seasonal return in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Listed Chase, seeing off the likes of Silver Hallmark and Espoir De Romay.

Last time out he was seen racing off a mark of 150 in the Ladbrokes Trophy and in a superb race to the line he was narrowly second to Cloudy Glen, giving heaps of weight away.

Up a further 5lb, he has not been seen since that but proving he can harbour weight against well handicapped horses makes him interesting in this company.

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 15:00
Harry Cobden

Cap Du Mathan

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 132
Days: 40

The 2m3f Handicap Hurdle looks set to be a very competitive event and with that in mind the horse we are siding with is the Paul Nicholls trained Cap Du Mathan.

The seven year old was bought by the Stewart Family and moved over to Nicholls from France in 2019 and in his first season took some time to adapt to British racing.

He finally got off the mark at Plumpton in heavy ground over two miles in January 2020, landing a Maiden Hurdle by 12 lengths but he was then off the track for a year with a setback.

Returning this year in January, he stepped up in trip to 19f at Taunton and beat off a superb field of handicappers to take his first handicap event by close to 10 lengths.

He has gone up 9lb for that win but looked to have plenty in hand that day and with the conditions set to be tricky they could play to his strengths.

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 Grade One Ascot Chase 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.

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 16:10
Niall Houlihan


J: Niall Houlihan
T: Gary Moore
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 117
Days: 30

The final event we have strong fancies in is the Class Handicap Hurdle over three miles and we like the look of two horses at each way prices.

The first is the Gary Moore trained Imphal who has been highly consistent for the yard this season, really getting going in October when winning a handicap off a mark of 99.

He backed that up with two more quick-fire wins at Fontwell and Huntingdon over marathon trips, gaining himself a mark of 110.

Looking for his third win in November he stayed on well to grab third and only up another 1lb two starts ago over course and distance at Ascot he was a fair second behind the extremely well handicapped Ardhill for Gordon Elliott.

Imphal got back to winning ways last time out at Wincanton off a mark of 113 and only up 4lb for that still leaves him feasibly treated.

Won't want loads of rain, but looks the class act.

Ascot - February 19 2022
Ascot 16:10
Paul O'Brien


J: Paul O'Brien
T: Charlie Longsdon
Age: 7
Weight: 11-3
OR: 116
Days: 39

Another at a much bigger price and tied into the form line of Imphal is the Charlie Longsdon trained Glencassley, who could run a huge race at a double figure price.

The gelding was seen in four bumpers at the start of his career, winning one of them at Wetherby over two miles and then finishing sixth of 18 in the Grade Two event at Aintree's Grand National meeting.

Sent hurdling this term, he got off the mark at the first time of asking at Southwell and then backed that up at Wetherby when up in trip.

Up in trip and grade at Cheltenham in November he only beat one home in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle over 2m5f.

Sent back into handicap company he performed much better when sixth of 16 over course and distance at Ascot, giving weight away to the field.

Last time out he was seen running to a fair standard once more when third of 14 at Doncaster in a good handicap hurdle, with the first and second since winning to boost the form.

Having won on soft he won't mind any rain and looks the value bet now better off at the weights with some horses in the field.