The opening race on ITV this Saturday, is the Ascot Underwriting Chase, and Wenyerreadyfreddie could provide Nicky Henderson and Jeremiah McGrath with a quick-fire double, should Pym take the Ascot opener. Wenyerreadyfreddie has been unlucky of late, when finding one too good in both his previous outings - at Uttoxeter and at Aintree. The defeat at Uttoxeter last time came against Lil Rockerfeller, who has sinced proved his class in a valuable chase at Cheltenham last week. All the form bodes well for a victory here.
Ascot 13:50 - Wenyerreadyfreddie
Wetherby 14:05 - Oscar Rose
A small, but competitive field go to post for the OLBG.com Mares Hurdle (Listed) over 2 miles, and we have chosen to side with Oscar Rose. Won on her seasonal reappearance at Worcester two weeks ago in eye-catching fashion, and that performance simply cannot be ignored. She beat some fit rivals that day by 15 widening-lengths - albeit in a class four, but the jump back up to top level, will not make her an outlier. Paddy Brennan teams up with Fergal O'Brien.
Ascot 14:25 - Shantou Rock
Shantou Rock won first time out last season, and this year he starts his season in the Byrne Group Handicap Chase, a listed contest over the extended two miles. He looked a very smart front-running novice last season, when being beaten by big names such as Cyrname and Sceau Royal in some beneficial hurdle races. He begins his career over the larger fences on the royal track, and holds strong claims for the Skelton's - who notched up 100 for the season last week.
Wetherby 14:40 - Black Corton
The feature on ITV this Saturday, is the Grade 2 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase over 3 miles, and sadly only five go to post, with the withdrawals of Thistlecrack and Bristol de Mai breaking earlier this week. However, five strong candidates line-up, and Black Corton, who had such a memorable last year with Bryony Frost in the saddle, can begin his season in good style here. Having won six out of seven races twelve months ago, he landed the G1 32Red Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, and was later beaten by some pretty good rivals in the RSA at the Festival - with Presenting Percy the winner; many people's fancy for the Gold Cup this year. He perhaps ran out of steam when March rolled around, with a busy season and lots of racing eventually showing their toll. The class is still there and is seriously respected in this race.
Ascot 15:00 - Caius Marcius
Next up, is the Bet With Ascot Handicap Hurdle, another listed event, this time just shy of two miles, and Caius Marcius is the selection here. He is another who arrives here bidding for the hat-trick, having won impressively at Market Rasen and Perth in the last couple of months. Having opened up at 10/1, he is already being heavily backed, and could provide Nicky Richards with a rare early-season winner.
Wetherby 15:15 - Wholestone
The penultimate race at Wetherby and on ITV is the bet365 Hurdle - registered as the West Yorkshire Hurdle. Nigel Twiston-Davies has an exciting season ahead, particularly with Wholestone. One of a number appealing recruits owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, Wholestone finished a fantastic third in the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier this year. He was second to Identity Thief in the Stayers at Aintree, before ending the season third in the bet365 Select Hurdle at Sandown. A number of close efforts, and his class should shine through in this Grade 2.
Ascot 15:35 - Traffic Fluide
ITV completes its coverage with the Ascot feature race of the day - the Grade 3 Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase, and Traffic Fluide - who has done no wrong for the Moore's and the Galloping On The South Downs Partnership in recent years, can land this valuable asset. He was second in a useful near 3m Chepstow handicap last month, and should provide more with only an extra 2lb on his back. Will be a close one with Go Conquer, who won this race impressively twelve months ago.