The Messenger previews Ascot and Wetherby on Saturday and bets include Wholestone for Nigel Twiston Davies.
Wetherby 2.40: Wholestone
One of the best staying novice hurdlers around last season, Wholestone can prove he is a contender for the Stayers Hurdle prize at Cheltenham later in the year with victory in this Grade 2 at Wetherby.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ gelding did not look the most natural of jumpers last season, but improved with time and put in a clear round when a fine third in the Albert Bartlett in the Festival, having already won two Grade 2 events at the track in mid-winter.
Wholestone also has the advantage of having had a recent run, finishing a perfectly respectable fourth in the Silver Trophy off a big weight at Chepstow. That race was over a trip short of his optimum and a return to 3m will suit and he will have the edge in race sharpness over his rivals.
Ascot 3.00: Elgin
Elgin performed consistently well in novice company last season, but appeared just short of top class graded races. He was second in Grade 2 contests at Kempton and Haydock and was seventh in the Supreme at Cheltenham. However he looks the type to be well suited by fast run handicaps. He warmed up for this with a solid fourth at Chepstow three weeks ago when looking badly in need of the run. We will see a better horse today.
Ascot 3.35: Antony
Antony seems to be a horse best fresh and has followed a similar campaign to last season, running well at Fontwell in a class 2 four weeks ago (a race he won last year) before heading to this valuable prize. Only 4lbs higher than when storming to victory last season, he too will enjoy ground conditions and with the Gary Moore in top form in recent weeks he looks sure to be thereabouts under his feather weight.
1.5pts win – Wholestone – 2.40 Wetherby at 11/4 with Paddy Power and Betfair
1pt win – Elgin – 3.00 Ascot at 13/2 with Bet365
0.75pts each-way – Antony – 3.35 Ascot at 10/1 with Bet365