3.00pm Ascot Tips & Betting Preview 17/12/2016

Class from top to bottom in this close to three mile chase but with not one trainer or horse doubling up so far, the statistics leave us high and dry for the moment.  Jonjo O’Neill is in the middle of a revival at the moment after a slow start to his season and he has a few in here with the lightly weighted Go Conquer (11/2) the shortest in the early betting. A very lightly raced seven-year-old with just the four starts over the larger obstacles he has only win the solitary event at Wincanton in April but looked as if a profitable season was on the way after returning to the fray with a second to Present Man at Ascot and although put up four pounds for that, he seems sure to strip a little bit fitter and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in the betting which may well give us a good clue to his chances.

Back to the Bowen/Bowen combo as mentioned elsewhere, and now it is confirmed that Peter allows Minella Daddy (10/1 Each Way) to take his chances with son Sean in the saddle he seems sure to make a bold attempt at landing his hat trick after wins at Ffos Las and then here at Ascot. He did win with a bit up his sleeve by seven lengths in November and even an eleven pound weight rise may not be enough to stop him winning one more race before the handcioapper gets him and we are hapy ot take that chance at his rather generous price.

On the twelfth of March 2015 the Nicky Richards trained Eduard (15/2) ran a blinder when fourth to Uxizandre at Cheltenham in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival, but he disappeared for the whole of last season before returning at Ascot last month with a superb two and three quarter length fourth to Royal Regatta but that only makes him even harder to gauge. He could well improve form that run in which case he has a great chance for his in-form stable but he could just as easily “bounce” on his second run back after a lay-off and whoever backs him has to build that in to their maths when working out what is or isn’t a value price.

Jockey Noel Fehily has a 24% strike rate and a level stakes profit when riding for Harry fry and it seems likely they will team up once again with Fletchers Flyer (12/1) here and he seems another with a decent chance. Four races over fences have seen one win and three places (so he looks well worthy of each-way consideration), and he won at Punchestown over three and a half miles last time out in April, but whether he has the speed to win over this trip looks like the big question, but he is undoubtedly improving and is one of the more interesting options here.

Luckily for punters Paul Nicholls rarely minds letting stable companions take each other on and Irish Saint (17/2) also sits pretty high in the ante post betting suggesting he is not without some kind of a chance. Off for nineteen months after finishing a fifteen length third to Saphir Du Rheu at Aintree at level weight he meets that rival on three pounds better terms which is frankly nowhere near enough but he is better than that effort and should strip fitter after a return to action when fifth at Cheltenham last month and could be the dark horse here if the price is right of course.


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