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Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Saturday including Urbain De Sivola in the 15.10 at Ascot. Compare odds and bet.

The Ladbroke looks a very competitive event whichever way you look at it but, at the prices, an each-way chance is taken on Urbain De Sivola (3:10) who holds claims on bits and pieces of his form, though he does arrive here on the back of a disappointing run, albeit in Grade 1 company at Auteuil.

In fact the four-year-old has been in action at the Parisian track on his last four starts, finishing a close fourth behind Persian War winner Wonderful Charm in April after which he won a Listed event in fine style under James Reveley.

Since then the son of Le Fou finished fourth to Usual Suspects in a Grade 3 and the race is working out, with the runner-up twice chasing home the top-class Esmondo (latterly when Urbain De Sivola finished well beaten) and the third has won since.

The pick of his British form was a 10-length victory over Ranjaan at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting and, though the runner-up has clearly improved since, he has to be of interest being 3lbs better off and more than three times the price.

His last run on home soil came in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, where he finished 11th, though that doesn’t tell the whole story, as he made a serious error two out. He does need to hurdle better, but he handles testing ground and Nick Williams has his string in good order, saddling four winners and seven placed horses from just 15 runners since 7th December.

Available at 33/1 with Stan James on Friday evening, the chestnut who ought to make a nice chaser in time is worthy of a small each-way interest. The sponsors Ladbrokes have him at 28/1 for those wanting to back with guaranteed odds.

Others to note at big odds include the strong-travelling Irish raider Thomas Edison while It’s A Gimme is capable of going close if proving himself on the ground; he is yet to race on anything near this bad. But, at 33/1, I’m prepared to give a chance to Urbain De Sivola.

Earlier on the card Smad Place (2:00) is given another chance in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle, following his disappointing return in the John Smith’s Hurdle at Wetherby.

Alan King’s grey was backed as if defeat was out of the question that day, but he looked rather laboured in third. He missed a match-up with Big Buck’s in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury as he wasn’t right and King has stated he is much happier with his World Hurdle third now.

The lightly-raced five-year-old has fine form on this track and handles soft ground, so conditions shouldn’t pose any problems and, despite seemingly running below par, that Wetherby race is really working out strongly. Tidal Bay (winner) went on to run a blinder in the Hennessy, Crack Away Jack (2nd) ran as well as could be expected behind Oscar Whisky last week, Fair Along (4th) won a handicap at Newbury and last home Restless Harry (6th) won earlier this week. The only other runner in the race, Cape Tribulation, hasn’t run since.

If Smad Place is to develop in to a genuine World Hurdle contender, he needs to be landing this. Reve De Sivola is arguably the main danger and, though Trustan Times is improving, this is a big step up in class. Ladbrokes have the selection chalked up 9/4 overnight.

Saturday’s selections:
2:00 Ascot Smad Place
3:10 Ascot Urbain De Sivola

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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)

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