2.25pm Ascot tips for Saturday’s Listed race. The ITV4 action continues at Ascot with the action heating up, a Listed Handicap the next on the agenda. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Plenty of in form runners arrive here making this a fascinating contest, but ready preference is for QUITE BY CHANCE. He won this race twelve months ago and has run with credit on several runs since despite his mark ballooning. He was fourth in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham back in December off three pounds higher and he goes well fresh, so looks very tough to beat for Colin Tizzard. Both Marracudja and Theinval tend to run their races and look sure-fire each way candidates, though the biggest danger may come from the lightly raced Calipto.
1 THENIVAL – Deadly consistent sort for Nicky Henderson who doesn’t win very often but has an affinity for placing. He’s not been beaten far on two of his last three runs off today’s mark and goes on better ground, so he’s an obvious each way candidate.
2 MAX WARD – Ran admirably in some tough races last season for Tom George, a close fourth in a Grade 1 at Aintree back in April. His current handicap mark does demand further progress though and he can only be given each way claims here.
3 QUITE BY CHANCE – Won this race last year for Colin Tizzard, running well in defeat several times since in some very tough races. He’s higher in the weights than last year but he’s improved significantly. He goes well fresh and should prove very tough to beat off a mark that is lenient at present.
4 MARRACUDJA – Has finished second on four of his last five starts, filing that position on seasonal debut behind the in-form Oliver’s Hill. He faces a tougher task here off two pounds higher but he may not be done improving yet over fences and has an each way squeak.
5 FESTIVE AFFAIR – Arrives here in good form, winning his latest start at Uttoxeter in July despite being hampered four out. That wasn’t a bad race that he won but a six pound rise demands further progress and may just catch him out here.
6 CALIPTO – Ran well to finish sixth in the Grand Annual two starts ago before falling at Ayr when still travelling well at the time. A mark of 138 on his return isn’t harsh at all as he remains lightly raced and needs plenty of respect under Bryan Cooper.
7 SOMECHINE – Won two starts ago at Hereford before running with credit to finish third in a Listed race at Ayr in April despite hanging. His record fresh doesn’t make for great reading though and this is a tough renewal of this race, so he can only be watched.
8 SPEREDEK – Arrives here on a four-timer for Nigel Hawke, winning a four runner handicap on his latest start in very game fashion. He’s now six pounds higher in a much tougher race, but he is unlikely to be done improving and shouldn’t be totally discounted.
9 CHRIS PEA GREEN – Inconsistent sort for Gary Moore who ran well enough two starts ago at Sandown before pulling up at Cheltenham at the Festival in the Grand Annual. He has plenty on his plate here on his return and others are preferred.
10 LITTLE POP – Has won two of his last three starts, perhaps feeling the effects of his new mark when a six length second at Wetherby when last seen. He’s now two pounds higher and looks set to struggle now upped in grade.
11 EXITAS – Another who arrives here on the back of a victory, though his came in a Class 4 event at Kempton where he got up in the shadows of the post. The second in that race didn’t do the form many favours when last seen and this looks a tall order upped in grade.