Nicky’s Gold a 14/1 Present in Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot
Last year’s Christy Chase winner Top Notch won’t be at Ascot on Saturday to defend his crown in the Grade 2 over 2m5f, neither will Double Shuffle or Frodon who finished 2nd & 3rd that day. But Nicky Henderson can find the net again with GOLD PRESENT, who looks a stonking price at 14/1 if he lines up, in a race likely to cut up quite a bit. Politologue is the market leader, but will he start off over 2m5f here? Clear problem if he does as he's a class act, but I'd still fancy an on-song Gold Present to give him some over this trip. Min and Bellshill are unlikely to run I would say, so that leaves the talented but open to errors Charbel as the “class” angle in the field; assuming Shattered Love won’t travel either.
Gold Present seen his form tail off last season, he was last seen pulling up in the Scottish Grand National. He was in good form around this time last year though, winning a Newbury handicap chase before comprehensively outgunning Frodon around here at Ascot next time out. He enjoys decent ground, but a little rain between now and 2.05pm on Saturday wouldn’t inconvenience him too much over the trip, given the 8yo stays 3m very well. He goes well fresh, has had a breathing operation and on his day, is a proper chaser, well capable of picking up a prize of this nature. You’d imagine he’ll return to Aintree next month, but hopefully he’ll take in this engagement along the way.
Improving Bobo Mac no 20/1 shot in Haydock Stayers Handicap
The 2.25pm at Haydock on Saturday unearthed subsequent Grade 1 winner Sam Spinner last year and in 2018, First Assignment and Paisley Park look the potentially class acts at the top of the market for the gruelling 3m+ contest. But this is still a handicap and as usual, I’m looking for something a little outside the box, and BOBO MAC certainly fits the bill at 20/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook. Formerly with Michael Hourigan and now in the care of Tom Symonds, this 7yo has only ever really shown fairly limited relative ability, but he returned after a wind op last time out and ran an absolute belter - a career best in fact - when chasing home Jersey Bean in a Class 2 Handicap at Newbury when going off at 20/1. He jumped and travelled particularly well and just looked to me like an improving horse, a more grown up one physically and capable of upping his game even more. A 4lb rise for that is more than fair and although he’s obviously got plenty on his plate on Saturday, I can see him creeping into this and picking up a place at least. Back him each-way, as he should provide a good run for your money.
Prices correct at the time of publish
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