Four To Follow: Pic-ture That

It’s the final Grade One before the Cheltenham Festival, the Ascot Chase, with one horse in particular looking to make a big impression on the Gold Cup market. There’s also the intriguing Swinley Chase and Grand National Trial up at Haydock. Plus, the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton to make up this week’s Four To Follow.



Victtori’s In The Bag

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3:00 – Injured Jockeys Fund Ambassadors Programme Swinley Handicap Chase (Premier) – Victtorino @ 100/30 (William Hill, Boylesports, BetUK)

So far Victtorino is two for two at Ascot. His only blip this season came at Cheltenham, when stepped down in trip, and he didn’t seem to handle it. Now back to an ideal trip, he’s only four pounds higher than his previous winning mark, the same rise in the weights for his first win at Ascot. He holds no entry for Cheltenham and will have been aimed for this race instead.

Revels Hill makes great each-way appeal, despite this being his first start of the season. He races off the same mark he was for this race last season, 137, when finishing third. Trainer Harry Fry says that he’s a spring horse, and in ideal spring-like conditions he should relish the competition and finish a lot nearer this time. Worth having at 13/2 (BetVictor, Boylesports).


Easy Pic

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3:36 – Ascot Chase (Grade One) – Pic D’Orhy @ 15/8 (William Hill, Boylesports, BetUK)

Despite having an entry in the Ryanair, Pic D’Orhy should miss Cheltenham. This race is his Cheltenham. Second to a certain Shishkin last year, his unbeaten streak was ended from a tough performance by Banbridge at Kempton. L’Homme Presse is taking the odd route of going intermediate before long-distance and might just want an extra run before the main aim. Interesting to see Ahoy Senor in here, but Aintree will be the time to back him. Pic D’Orhy has been trained for this race all season you feel.



Aiming For Grand Gold

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3:15 – Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Premier) – My Silver Lining @ 6/1 (William Hill)

When My Silver Lining won at Warwick, the cogs turned for Emma Lavelle and team. The Grand National is the aim for this horse and needs to win, at least, another race to be considered. With good form on heavy ground, a low weight in the race and never dropping below second in his last five races, it makes sense to go for him on his path to the Grand National.

However, a winner of the Grand National Trial has never won the Grand National in the same year (Party Politics won the National the year before, Red Rum won his first two Nationals before his win in the Trial).

Iwilldoit has had some time to readjust his mark back to a decent handicapping standard. His third in the Fleur De Lys made sure of that and is back competing, even better with jockey Dylan Johnston claiming five pounds. He’s lightly raced, with decent experience on heavy ground and seasoned long-distance travellers have a good record in the race. Nicely priced at 7/1 (General) to win his first race in over a year.

Chambard still holds a chance at this race, despite being raised seven pounds for his win in the Becher Chase. It didn’t go to plan in the Welsh National, but Haydock may suit a little better with no undulations. And, going on his run in the Becher, there’s no one better in the race that can handle bottomless ground. Outside price, but not an outside chance at 22/1 (General).



Give You A Clue

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2:05 – Kingwell Hurdle (Grade Two) – Colonel Mustard @ 11/4 (William Hill)

The only reason Rubaud can’t be backed is because of a hefty penalty he carries. That gives Colonel Mustard a big advantage, now back over hurdles after a disappointing time chasing. Plenty in this field won’t like the heavy ground, but Colonel Mustard is the best rated horse and has the value going for him as Rubaud drifts in the market.

The very best of luck!

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