The 6th race on Ascot’s card is an intriguing and highly competitive Novices Hurdle. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Bagad Bihoue will be a hugely tough nut to crack, with his only defeat over hurdles on English soil in a Grade 2 over a longer trip. However he is giving 10lb of weight away to less exposed rivals and Nicky Henderson has won this race 4 times in the past 9 years, he runs his 5yo CULTIVATOR today. He won the bumper on this card 12 months ago and ran well on hurdles debut when 2nd, jumping very cautiously. He should have improved tons for that effort and he is taken to provide Henderson a 5th win in this race.
1 BAGAD BIHOUE – Hugely progressive 5yo who has won 4 times out 5 over hurldes on English soil since joining Paul Nicholls, with that defeat coming in a Grade 2 Novices race at Chepstow (2m3f, Good). Drops back in trip today and Harry Cobden takes off 3lb and should be a tough nut to track, but is giving away 10lb to less exposed rivals.
2 ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL – Showed decent talent on the flat and wasn’t completely disgraced on hurdles debut when 6th of 10 at Fontwell (2m1f, Good to Soft). May however find this company a bit taxing and will probably be outclassed today.
3 CULTIVATOR – Won the bumper on this card 12 months ago and made a pleasing hurdles debut when 2nd, jumping cautiously but finishing off well (2m, Good). Nicky Henderson has won this race 4 times in the last 9 years and his 5yo should improve a lot for his debut. If jumping with more vigour this time he should be able to carry his momentum all the way to the finish and provide Henderson another win in this race.
4 FIRST DRIFT – Won a point to point before completing a double in bumpers, the latest of which when 4/9 favourite, coming away readily to win at Worcester back in May (2m, Good to Firm). That form is solid and should run well on hurdles debut, but will need to take to them very well to have a say here. Place claims.
5 MOSCATO – Useful and consistent stayer on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott and joins Oliver Sherwood for his hurdles campaign. Stamina shouldn’t be an issue and if taking to hurdles he should be competitive and has definite place claims.
6 PEAK TO PEAK – Once raced in France and won that outing over 1m3f. Very attractive pedigree and the Nicholl’s yard are absolutely flying at present so has to be greatly respected, although its impossible to work out what that flat run amounts too. Yard also runs Bagad Bihoue so there should be clues in the betting.
myracing Forecast Prices: 15/8 Bagad Bihoue, 2/1 Cultivator, 3/1 Peak to Peak, 3/1 Moscato, 11/2 FIrst Drift, 33/1 Archangel Raphael