Ascot and York Saturday Horse Racing Previews

The Messenger has three bets today at Ascot and York including Burnt Sugar and Flying Pursuit.

Ascot 2.25: Ulshaw Bridge

Ulshaw Bridge has been doing perfectly well in the predominant small fields this summer, but I have long thought him ideal for this type of contest. He was fourth in the Silver Bowl at Haydock, but this straighter and stiffer track will be far more in his favour. Since that outing he has finished a close second back at the Merseyside track before winning at Doncaster – a track with far more in common with Ascot. Cover and a strong pace should see him in an even better light today.

York 2.40: Flying Pursuit

The winner of this contest twelve months ago, Flying Pursuit can leave his 2018 form way behind thanks to the relenting of the handicapper, but predominantly the rainstorms that hit the track late yesterday.

He was a comfortable 2l winner of this race on good-to-soft last season off 90 and then went on to record another class 2 success at Ripon on really testing ground in September off 96. His fine autumn continued with placed efforts here and at Doncaster as his rating spiralled into three figures.

This season, apart from his debut outing when in need of the run, has seen him have to contend with fast ground that he can’t really cope with. As such his mark has tumbled to 94, so with the going back in his favour he looks very well in today. He has shown early pace in his races suggesting the ability is still there and he was made favourite for a race at Ripon recently which also indicates he is working well at home. Jockey bookings might suggest he is not Tim Easterby’s first string – but those bookings were made when the ground was quick and it is not fast ground now.

Ascot 3.00: Burnt Sugar

In-form trainer Roger Fell has moulded this 6yo into a 7f big field handicap specialist and he produced his customary storming late finish to win at Newmarket last time. The conditions and timing of this race have worked out perfectly as he only has 1lb more to carry today and is officially 3lb well in. He won a similar contest on Irish Champions weekend at Leopardstown last year and there is no reason why his style of racing won’t suit Ascot just as well.

Recommended bets:

0.75pts each-way – Ulshaw Bridge – 2.25 Ascot at 20/1 with William Hill

1pt each-way – Flying Pursuit – 2.40 York at 9/1 with Paddy Power

0.75pts each-way – Burnt Sugar – 3.00 Ascot at 20/1 with BetVictor