Ceebee previews Ascot on Saturday and has bets on If the Cap Fits and Charbel.
14.40 Ascot Coral Hurdle 2m3f
Old Guard is rock solid at this trip and at the G2 level but giving away 6lbs makes it very difficult.
We Have A Dream is going to find it tough this season as many former top 4yos have. I’d also be hesitant to rate his Aintree win too highly – there’s holds in his form.
If The Cap Fits was 7L in front of We Have A Dream at Wincanton two weeks ago. Neither were a match for Verdana Blue. The mare had race fitness and a very sharp 2miles on her side. She has since upheld the form. If The Cap Fits was having his first start in 11mts and just his 7th career start. He wasn’t disgraced but there’s plenty more to come from him. His novice hurdle form is very good and the trip or ground shouldn’t pose any problems. A deserving favourite.
4pts win If The Cap Fits – at 10/11 with Bet365 and BetVictor
14.05 Christy 1965 Chase 2m5f
Another solid favourite in Politologue. He was 4 from 6 last year and the other 2 efforts featured Altior. The Melling win (a cracking race) against Min was a genuine G1 level chase over 2m4f. He has won over 2m5f including here at Ascot and has won first time out the last two seasons. Very hard to be against him.
Giving 6lbs to Charbel is the only worry. Charbel is decent and race fit. He gave 12lbs and a beating to BetVictor GC winner Baron Alco, the two well clear of a few decent sorts, at Chepstow last month. That was a big step up on some of his previous efforts, but it was no fluke – he had been threatening to do it for a while.
I’m not a big fan of Benatar. He pulls too hard to get home over this trip in top company. He’s officially rated 10lbs shy of Charbel and has to give him another 3lbs here. His novice chase win around here took very little winning. Despite the JLT throwing out plenty of winners since (Kemboy, Terefort, Finian’s Oscar) I’m not at all convinced by that line of form. Beaten 12L in a JLT shouldn’t good enough to get involved here.
Hammersly Lake is extremely overrated after a few summer wins. Gold Present has plenty to prove after two poor efforts in the spring. Stepping out of handicap company he might find this a little hot. And Sizing Granite is out of his depth here.
2pts Charbel (w/o Politologue) 7/4 – BetVictor
0.5pt Charbel, Politologue SFC
Over at Haydock I like Kalondra if he stays upright. Mr Antolini is solid enough in the 2m handicap hurdle. Native River (see separate preview piece) is the pick in the big race of the day. And Braqueur D’Or has ground, form and youth all on his side in the last.