Saturday Ascot Through The Card

Saturday Ascot Through The Card

Busy Saturday at Ascot ahead including THE showcase event of the day, The Coral Hurdle…

There’s Grade 2 action from Ascot this Saturday as some of this seasons most promising jumps horses head to Berkshire to stake their claim for a big 2018. The star of the show this Saturday is set to be the J P McManus owned Defi Du Seuil who is currently unbeaten in his seven race career and a big performance from him in the Coral Hurdle will put him well in contention for a shot at the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. But before previewing that, we will start with our race-by-race recommendations for Saturdays action along with reasoning below…


12:20 – Mitie Events & Leisure Novices’ Hurdle (Class 2)

  Count Meribel 11/2

A consistent hurdler last season despite not winning a race, the 5-year-old gelding hasn’t looked back so far this year kicking off his season with a convincing 10 length victory at Carlisle which he then followed up with another comfortable victory at the same course. The horse that finished second to him that day, Kildisart, franked the form on Friday winning nicely at Ascot so Count Meribel is bound to be a huge player this weekend. He does step up in trip slightly but that should suit him to a tee so we’re expecting a big performance.


12:55 – BAM Construct UK Chase (Novices’ Limited Handicap) (Class 3)

  Will O’the West 8/1

In what looks to be a fairly weak Class 3 affair, we’ve taken a punt on the Henry Daly trained Will O’the West. He won just twice over hurdles in 11 attempts however he did show plenty of promise on his chase debut in the middle of last month. Despite finishing 4th, he beat the well fancied Get On The Yager by 17 lengths and with him going down in weight to a mark of 124 along with the extra couple of furlongs from his debut over the bigger obstacles, he will be one to keep an eye on at a tasty each way price.


13:30 – Trisoft Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

  HitcherJacques Lady 9/2

A promising novice hurdler last season, she picked up two wins on her way to finishing a disappointing 12th of 16 in the EBF & TBA Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle Finale at Newbury in March. Now set to go over the bigger obstacles, she’ll have to improve from her novice hurdling form to get the win. Her speed won’t be a problem and the long lay off will suit her so if she manages a solid round of jumping, she could cause a big surprise.


14:40 – Coral Hurdle (Grade 2)

  Defi Du Seuil 5/6

Well, there’s not many words that can describe the career that this horse has had so far. Out of  Voix Du Nord, a Group 1 winner on the flat in France, he was born with speed and that’s exactly what he’s shown far with a seven race win streak with a combined winning distance of over 38 lengths. This is a horse that deserves nothing but respect and a five time Grade winner after just seven races under rules, there’s no wonder he’s third favourite for next years Champion Hurdle without even having a run this season. A big run this weekend would no doubt see those 9/1 odds shrink for the Champion Hurdle and we believe that he’s more than capable of kicking on once again and making it 8/8 in his so far short career.


15:15 – Shawbrook Handicap Chase (Class 2)

  San Benedeto (NAP) 10/3

One of the most consistent chasers on the circuit, the Paul Nicholls trained San Benedeto has placed in six of his last seven races winning four of those including the Grade 1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April. He’s a really likeable sort and last time out he pushed his highly thought of stablemate Politologue all the way to miss out by just over two lengths. He is a course and distance winner and his previous win here was at the start of April off a mark 150. He’s now up to a mark of 157 however with the 5lbs claimer of the talented Bryony Frost on board, he’s really just 2lbs higher than that win and in our eyes it will take something immensely special to beat him.


15:50 – Elite AV Standard Open NH Flat Race (Class 4)

Nestor Park

Bumpers are always a tough one to predict especially when the field is full of so many unexposed horses but we think we’re on to something with Nestor Park. The Ben Pauling trained 4-year-old was well backed on debut when finishing behind Ballygomartin who then went on to finish an impressive 4th in a listed event at Cheltenham last week. Bred in France, his father Walk In The Park placed at Group 1 level on the flat and so it will be really interesting to see how Nestor Park improves from his first run.


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