Sam Turner had a nice winner with First Response on Friday and is in action at Ascot and Haydock today.
Un De Sceaux (Ascot, 3.35)
An unprecedented fourth victory in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase would rightly confirm UN DE SCEAUX as one of National Hunt racing’s all-time greats, while he would also be the first 12-year-old to win a jumps Grade 1 since Monet’s Garden achieved the feat in 2010.
The legendary veteran has already achieved more than other luminaries such as Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Master Minded by completing a spectacular hat-trick in this afternoon’s feature.
Standing in his way is the formidable presence of Defi Du Seuil who resisted the selection’s advances by a neck in an enthralling renewal of the Tingle Creek Chase before Christmas. However, a switch to Ascot may play more to the strengths of Un De Sceaux who is unbeaten in two starts at today’s venue and is likely to appreciate the forecast heavy ground more than his main market rival. Willie Mullins’ grand veteran, also unbeaten in all five career starts in January, was forced to concede the front-running role at Sandown to the exuberant Ornua whereas he can probably dominate his field today.
Thebannerkingrebel (Haydock, 2.05)
THEBANNERKINGREBEL may have a little to learn about jumping hurdles, but there is little doubt he is a powerful galloper and a class act in the making.
His experience of today’s venue may stand him in good stead in what appears a duel with the talented Edwardstone. The latter sports a hood for the first time in order to try and help him settle, but he will need to be at his polished best if the selection is allowed to dominate and build up a head of steam turning for home.
Espoir De Guye (Ascot, 3.00)
ESPOIR DE GUYE has been raised 14lb for his emphatic 10-length success here before Christmas, but that is largely understandable as he looks a rapid improver, well suited by deep ground and today’s venue.
His yard probably aren’t in the same rampant form as they were then, but their six-year-old operates so well on testing ground that he should be thereabouts again.
The time of his latest victory suggests he can cope with the class rise and, although I fear Happy Diva given the form of her stable and her admirable attitude, Espoir De Guye gains the nod.
SAM TURNER'S TOP TIPS
Un De Sceaux 2pts win (3.35 Ascot) 6/4 Unibet
Thebannerkingrebel 1pt win (2.05 Haydock) 6/4 bet365
Espoir De Guye 1pt win (3.00 Ascot) 3/1 Betfred
Un De Sceaux is your NAP of the Day for Saturday.
Betway are rolling out the red carpet for new customers this weekend. They're offering odds on shot Defi Du Seuil at a mammoth 50/1 to win the Clarence House Chase. It's the offer of 2020 so far!
Terms: New customers from UK and Ireland only. Valid debit/credit card or Paypal. Bets only eligible for the 15:35 Ascot race. Min deposit €/£10. Max stake €/£1. Race Winner singles only. Winnings paid in Free Bets. Offer expires 18/01/20 at 15:35 GMT. 18+.