Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at Ascost and Wincanton. View selections below
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Some cracking action at Ascot today including a fascinating renewal of the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase with six going to post. Drumacoo (1.50) made an impressive debut in Britain when winning at Huntingdon on his chase debut for Ben Pauling, having won his last three in his native Ireland for Michael Hourigan.
It might not have been the best of races the selection won last month given the second (Fletchers Flyer) didn’t run his race and the favourite (Value At Risk) fell at the second but he could be called the winner some way out and is an exciting prospect from a yard who continue to impress.
The Paul Nicholls yard had a cross-the-card treble from their three runners on Thursday and Silviniaco Conti (3.35) is taken to put behind a rare poor run in the King George last time with blinkers replacing the regular cheek-pieces.
The selection is a cracking jumper of a fence and his fast, slick fencing might be the key although jockey Noel Fehily is unlikely to get a soft lead with Savello and Amore Alato two others who like to race prominently. Irish raider Flemenstar looked a potential superstar in his younger days, but he was below par when well held in his sole start in Britain previously and is overlooked in favour of the Nicholls’ runner who is 11/4 at Betvictor.
Royale Knight (4.10) is 20lbs lower over fences than he is over timber and with his young conditional taking off another valuable 10lbs he can take the 2m 4f handicap hurdle for Dr Richard Newland. The selection finished sixth in the National last year but has only got 10st 1lb in the race this year and by my reckoning is unlikely to get a run.
At Haydock the dual Welsh National winner Mountainous and Broadway Buffalo are respected in the Grand National Trial but the vote goes to Rigadin De Beauchene (2.40) who won this corresponding race from a 2lbs lower mark back in 2014 so we know he stays, loves the mud and if his jumping holds he is the one to beat. At 7/1 with BetVictor he looks a decent each way bet if the eight stand their ground.
Ted Walsh brings over Champagne James (3.15) for the Pertemps Hurdle qualifier and his 8-y-old has been plying his trade over fences of late but could be well treated back over timber. David Pipe has saddled thew inner of this event for the last couple of years and his Taj Badalandabad won well last time and a 7lb rise still sees him competitive.
Duke Des Champs (4.25) looked one to follow at Ascot last time and it will be interesting to see which engagement he takes up as he is also declared for the Neptune Trial at Ascot.
At Wincanton the mare Tagrita (2.50) is surely better than she showed at Kempton on her reappearance and she won a listed contest on this card two years ago. Nicholls has saddled the winner of this event for the last three years and Harry Cobden takes off a valuable 7lbs.
Sail By The Sea (3.55) hasn’t seen the track since pulling up in the Arkle behind Un De Sceaux last March but has gone well fresh in the past and can make a winning reappearance for Neil Mulholland having left the yard of David since his last run.