Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday including Excelebration in the 3.30 at Ascot. Compare odds and bet.
At the time of writing it is still not known whether or not the mighty Frankel will take his place in the Qipco Champion Stakes field, with the ground at Ascot having deteriorated overnight.
Hopefully he we will run and sign off his career in style and, while we will be disappointed to see the end of the best racehorse we have ever seen, connections of Excelebration (3:30) might be excused for not feeling quite the same.
The four-year-old has seen his backside on no fewer than five occasions and, since being beaten on his racecourse debut back in May 2010, Frankel is the only horse to have beaten him.
Now trained by Aidan O’Brien, the Exceed And Excel colt tried to match strides with Frankel in the Queen Anne here earlier in the year before winning Jacques Le Marios, where he beat Cityscape and Elusive Kate.
The selection handles testing ground and can land the QEII Stakes for Joseph O’Brien; he is available at 10/11 with Paddy Power and Hills this morning.
Cheltenham’s BetVictor.com Handicap Chase looks a competitive 20-runner affair but Havingotascoobydo (2:30), who was a regular fixture at the Cheltenham meetings in the first half of last season, definitely has a race of this nature in him this term.
The seven-year-old chased home the smart Tanks For That and Astracad in a couple of competitive handicaps here in November and December over 2m and 2m½f, respectively. He was then expected to appreciate the step up to this trip and was sent off favourite for a similar contest to this on New Year’s Day, only to fall at the third.
Dropped 4lbs for that run, he’s only been seen once over hurdles since then, but he goes well fresh, having won first time out in each of his two seasons and he is worthy of each-way support at 7/1.
In the very next race it will be disappointing if Dodging Bullets (3:05) can’t get off the mark over hurdles at the fourth time of asking. Paul Nicholls’ Dubawi gelding is probably the highest rated maiden in training (148) and, though he faces a potentially smart sort in Baby Mix today, he should be up to landing this.
Runner-up to Grumeti on debut in February, he travelled best of all to the foot of the hill in the Triumph Hurdle (finished 4th). He was badly hampered by stable-mate Hinterland on his final outing at Aintree and looks the sort to make up in to a useful second-season novice this time around.
Baby Mix is greatly respected on his defeat of Hinterland here from last December, but he has to concede 8lbs to the selection today, which may prove too much. We may have missed the Evens overnight, but Hills and Paddy Power were still offering 10/11 this morning, which seemed more than fair.
Elsewhere, there are a couple of interesting novices on show at Kelso, in the shape of One For Hocky and Sydney Paget, but the ground is likely to be really testing at the Borders track, so the action from there is probably best watched.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)