• Sat 20 Apr, 2024
  • 10:57 BST
  • 06:57 EST (BST-4)
  • 12:57 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Wetherby, Ascot and Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.

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LA BAGUE AU ROI (3.40) can make a winning return to action against six rivals in the feature bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

She announced herself one of the top mares in training last season by winning her first four races before the sequence was snapped by classy Kalashnikov at Aintree in April. Warren Greatrex should have La Bague Au Roi tuned up for this big pot and she has a nice racing weight with Richard Johnson on top.

Welsh Grand National winner Elegant Escape is feared if straight enough on comeback. Definitly Red faced three rivals when winning this race last year and that quickly became two when Double Shuffle fell at the first. He did well to master Black Corton and trainer Brian Ellison scooped a big pot with Forest Bihan, running in the same colours, at Aintree last Sunday. Ballyoptic scored over course and distance in February and will strip fit after beat Lil Rockerfeller at Chepstow last month.

At Ascot, THE LAST DAY (2.10) should be a horse to follow this season. Evan Williams campaigned him very considerately last season, giving The Last Day plenty of time to recover from a heavy final-fence fall on chasing debut at Newbury’s big November meeting. His gelding then finished runner-up behind two smart sorts at Exeter and Ffos Las before sluicing home in the Carlisle mud in March. The more rain the better his chance. Dr Richard Newland won this event last year and his Caid Du Lin has a good record around Ascot, beating Seredek over course and distance last November. He is now 8lb worse off with the runner-up.

LISP (2.45) has a difficult task under top weight in the Sodexo Handicap Hurdle but he didn’t enjoy the clearest of runs when eighth to useful Al Dancer here in February before his excellent fifth in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. Trainer Alan King pocketed this prize 12 months ago with Fidux. Adjali was a slightly disappointing seventh behind Pentland Hills in the JCB Triumph Hurdle but got closer to that winner when fourth at Aintree the following month.

VINNDICATION (3.20) is unbeaten in two visits to Ascot and has leading prospects of completing his hat-trick in the Sodexo Handicap Chase. Kim Bailey’s six-year-old should have benefited from wind surgery following his fifth to Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Black Corton ended the season a high when posting a brilliant success in the bet365 Oaksey Chase at Sandown in April but has been set a stern examination under 11st 12lb. Larry and On The Blind Side would appear to hold better prospects. With 18 runners declared, some firms will be offering five places for each-way betting.

There is an interesting but difficult end-of-season card at Newmarket where PRESIDENTIAL (4.15) bids to follow up last year’s clear-cut success in the concluding 7f handicap. Roger Fell’s gelding is only a pound higher in the ratings and has been given a short break since his running-on fifth to Young Fire and Molls Memory (subsequent Newbury winner) at Haydock. He is closely matched with Dance Diva on a form line through Molls Memory but goes well at HQ which swings the vote.

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