2.25pm Ascot Tips & Betting Preview 29/10/2016

One winning favourite plus a joint favourite in the last ten years with other winners at odds up to 20/1 suggest this is mightily competitive though we did note that Venetia Williams has won it three times in that period and she had one entry here with Uhlan Bute who is no longer entered which seems a shame. Luckily for us, Charlie Longsdon has entered Germany Calling (11/1 Each Way) who hacked up last time out at Bangor by a very comfortable five lengths. That was over two and a half miles and he does drop back in trip this afternoon, but the race has cut up a little and if he can get a soft lead which seems pretty likely, he won’t be stopping when they try to come to him and could well hold them all off under jockey Andrew Tinkler.

As things stand the Dan Skelton trained Yorkist (11/4) heads the betting, though we think that is due in part to the media exposure given to the young trainer in recent days as much as the horse’s ability. Now an eight-year-old, the chestnut gelding has won two of his fourteen starts over fences but none in the last ten even though he has hit the places in three of them. That consistency has kept his handicap rating on the high side with a fourteen and a half length fifth of seven at Kelso last time out in march and although he is admirably consistent overall, we can’t see how he is priced as he is off just two pounds lower today.

Pearls Legend (13/2) has proved pretty popular for trainer John Spearing and he does have some decent form to bring to the table including a Cheltenham win last December as well as plenty of solid looking placed form. Three wins six seconds and six thirds from just the twenty-one starts over fences is an impressive set of statistics by anyone’s standards but he hasn’t been seen since a good fourth to Katachenko at Aintree last April and we have to take his fitness very much on trust at his age.

At least the Tom George trained Noche De Reyes (15/2) has no fitness issues having raced at Kempton earlier this month when runner up to Miss Tenacious, beaten a length and three quarters by the well handicapped winner. Although sent off at 4/1 that day there is no substitute for race fitness and he can improve again this afternoon and could yet be the biggest danger to our selection.

Meanwhile, Paul Nicholls can do little wrong of late and relies on Ulck Du Lin (8/1) here, who is already a course and distance winner from December 2012, a feat he repeated in November 2014. He will need a career best to take this which we think is asking too much on his twenty-seventh start over fences though with the Nicholls yard it seems all things are possible with the excellent Nick Scholfield in the saddle for the fourth time.

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