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Daryl Carter’s Best Bets – Sunday, 2nd April

Top Tipster Daryl Carter looks to continue his incredible form run on Sunday and has some confident selections as the flat returns.

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Posted: 5.15pm April 1st (Odds correct at time posted)

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2.25 Ascot – UPTON ROAD (1pt win – 11/2 Bet365, 9/2 generally)

UPTON ROAD has been knocking on the door for Michael Scudamore, and he travelled like a well-handicapped horse at Sandown when his jumping was really put to the test. He failed to stay 3m on that occasion, emptying after a mistake at the final fence, and the drop back to 2m5f today looks like a good move by connections. He split two progressive rivals in Super Six (subsequent winner) and Honneur D’Ajonc at Hereford, and today looks like a good opportunity to break his Maiden tag.

Soil Science Novices’ Handicap Chase (GBB Race)

3.00 Ascot – AFADIL (1pt e/w – SP)

Only one winner of this contest in the last ten years had run at Cheltenham previously, and that was Ben Pauling’s Raven’s Tower, who had finished a staying on sixth. However, the one that interests me the most here is Paul Nicholls’ AFADIL, who was undone by his racing position in the Boodles Handicap at Cheltenham, having been dropped out at the rear of the field and constantly having a wall of horses in front of him. That certainly wasn’t the plan, but Harry Cobden found himself in a poor position after two false starts. He finished to very good effect to place eighth, and the handicapper dropping him two pounds is a strange move. He looks like a highly progressive horse for the yard and one we have not seen the best of yet, having finished with running left at Prestbury Park, so in the hope that he has come out of that race fresh and well, he should be going very close here.

Royal Ascot Racing Club Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race)

3.20 Doncaster – SIR THOMAS GRESHAM (0.5pt e/w – 28/1 generally)

SIR THOMAS GRESHAM was pulled out last term by his former trainer on heavy ground at Redcar with the going as an excuse, but that made no sense to me, given I’ve always thought that’s the conditions he wants over a 6f distance. He doesn’t quite stay seven, and he hasn’t quite got the pace on good to firm ground over six. As a three-year-old, he won his first two outings on soft ground in good style and hasn’t had conditions to replicate those efforts since despite running career-bests on the AW and last April in a Group 3 contest. He has fallen in the handicap from 101 down to 89, likely due to a huge absence of 1252 days before his two AW runs this term (both over 7f). There was good promise in his latest effort of a return to form, and with those under his belt switched back to the turf on soft ground, he looks worth siding with at big odds.

Mental Health Awareness Handicap

3.35 Ascot – FRERE D’ARMES (2pt win – 2/1 Skybet, 15/8 generally)

FRERE D’ARMES arrives on the back of a break since November but is now 2-2 over fences, and his form could not have worked out any better to suggest he is well-handicapped off of this rating of 136 contesting this 0-145. His excellent win at Newbury saw the runner-up win the Betfair Hurdle next time, and is now rated 9 lbs higher. The third Datsalrightgino is still well-handicapped despite going up seven pounds in the ratings, while Balco Coastal is now rated 17 lbs higher. His previous Kempton win over Haddex Des Obeaux looks good also, with that one now rated 20 lbs higher on 146, and that form was boosted by the third scoring by 16 lengths next time out. He is proven to go well off a break, proven on a range of ground and proven right-handed. He is a progressive six-year-old. He is surely worthy of a rating in the mid-140s at minimum, and that would see him with 10 lbs in hand here off 136. The second choice is Corrigeen Rock, who is progressive and well-handicapped.

LK Bennett Handicap Chase (GBB Race)

4.45 Ascot – LARRY (1.5pt win – 9/4 Skybet + William Hill, 2/1 generally)

LARRY bounced right back to form at Newbury last time, and that effort confirms that this is a horse at his best in the spring. His record from March into April over obstacles reads 1121P8P2. It’s interesting that his poor efforts came back to back in the 2021 season when running over 2m and then 20 days later over 3m5f (8th)- so something clearly wasn’t right with him, and his other pulled-up effort was at the Cheltenham Festival – all excusable runs. He returns to Ascot today, where he has some excellent efforts to his name, including two course and distance victories, and he makes just his second start in a Veterans Handicap. There’s plenty of pace on in here with the likes of Two For Gold, who is handicapped to his best and prepping for the National, Wishing And Hoping (another poorly handicapped horse now aged 13), as well as Run To Milan and Ruthless Article who both like to go forward and can set this up for the selection.

Memberships At Ascot Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Leg 5 Of The Veterans Chase Series)

Daryl Carter’s Best Bets

2.25 Ascot – UPTON ROAD (1pt win – 11/2 Bet365, 9/2 generally)

3.00 Ascot – AFADIL (1pt e/w – SP)

3.20 Doncaster – SIR THOMAS GRESHAM (0.5pt e/w – 28/1 generally)

3.35 Ascot – FRERE D’ARMES (2pt win – 2/1 Skybet, 15/8 generally)

4.45 Ascot – LARRY (1.5pt win – 9/4 Skybet + William Hill, 2/1 generally)


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