Racecourse Template for Ascot (16 February 2019)

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Ascot Template Racecourse, Racing Trends and Betting Advice


Right handed, galloping. NH course reopened in 2006/7 after major redevelopment work, and improved drainage means conditions rarely get so testing as they used to. Fences appear as stiff as they've ever been, the course taking plenty of jumping. The chase course often favours those ridden prominently, despite a tendency for races to be well run.

Ascot map

GOING: Good to soft

FAVOURITES over the last 5 years

Hurdle:   29-61 for 48% (+1.08)   14-54  for 26%  (-6.13)
Chase:    21-40 for 53% (+0.52)   14-70  for 20% (-23.04)
NHF:       4-19 for 21% (-8.22)    0-0   for  - 
Total:   54-120 for 45% (-6.61)   28-124 for 23% (-29.17)

TOP 5 TRAINERS at Ascot this season
Nicky Henderson: 7 wins from 21 for 33% (+28.19)
Paul Nicholls:   5 wins from 32 for 16% (+15.25)
Harry Fry:       3 wins from  8 for 38%  (+7.80)
Nick Gifford:    2 wins from  3 for 67%  (+9.25)
Dr R Newland:    2 wins from  5 for 40% (+19.50)

TOP 5 JOCKEYS Ascot this season
Nico de Boinville:  4 wins from  8 for 50%  (-0.93)
Noel Fehily:        4 wins from 15 for 27%  (+3.55)
Wayne Hutchinson:   3 wins from 13 for 23%  (+8.75)
Sam Twiston-Davies: 3 wins from 13 for 23% (+13.75)
Harry Cobden:       3 wins from 22 for 14% (+13.00)

TOP TRAINERS at Ascot last five seasons
Nicky Henderson:  38 wins from 183 for 21%
Paul Nicholls:    36 wins from 190 for 19%
Harry Fry:        18 wins from  64 for 28%
Venetia Williams: 14 wins from  89 for 16%
Philip Hobbs:     14 wins from 106 for 13%

TOP JOCKEYS at Ascot last five seasons
Barry Geraghty:     27 wins from 113 for 24%
Aidan Coleman:      19 wins from 107 for 18%
Nico de Boinville:  19 wins from  64 for 30%
Noel Fehily:        17 wins from  97 for 18%
Sam Twiston-Davies: 16 wins from  99 for 16%

Longest traveller: Keyboard Gangster 3.20 trained by Donald Whillans (320m)


1.35 Ascot: Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 2m7f180y

16/16: Priced 17/2 or shorter (100%)
14/16: Aged either 6 or 7yo (88%)
14/16: Ran within the last 7 weeks (88%)
13/16: Won between 1-3 times over fences previously (81%)
13/16: Came from the top 3 in the betting (81%)
11/16: Won last time out (69%)
10/16: Irish bred (63%)
..9/16: Won over at least 3m (fences) before (56%)
..9/16: Winners ran in season’s RSA Chase (2 winners) (56%)
..8/16: Placed favourites (50%)
..8/16: Winners finished 5th or better in the RSA Chase (50%)
..7/16: Winning favourites (1 joint) (44%)
..3/16: Ridden by Ruby Walsh (19%)
..3/16: Ridden by Barry Geraghty (19%)
..3/16: Trained by Nicky Henderson (19%)
..3/16: Trained by Paul Nicholls (19%)
..2/16: Trained by Jonjo O’Neill (13%)

The 2005 & 2006 were run at Lingfield Park

Paul Nicholls has won 2 of the last 10 runnings. His strike-rate with chasers running between 19f and up to 3m (Coup De Pinceau)
Philip Kirby has a strike-rate of 21% with chasers running between 19f and up to 3m (Top Ville Ben)


TOP VILLE BEN has created a very good impression since switched to fences, a feature of which has been his bold jumping. Philip Kirby's charge is taken to maintain his unbeaten record in this sphere, perhaps at the chief expense of impressive Newbury handicap winner Mister Malarky. Providing his ealy exit at Exeter hasn't dented his confidence, Yalltari should also have a part to play.

The Racing Horse Verdict:

1 Top Ville Ben 11/4  2 Mister Malarky 7/2 (WINNER)

It was hard to separate the front two but just have the edge with Top Ville Ben. Trainer Philip Kirby told us: "His jumping has been excellent so hopefully he'll continue to go the right way. He was a good jumper of a hurdle and then it all kind of fell apart ? he got a bit brave and started stepping at the hurdles. It's a nice pot to have a go at and he deserves to take his chance. All being well the plan would be to head to the RSA after this."


2.10 Ascot: Keltbray Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race)

8/8: Returned 9/1 or shorter (100%)
7/8: Won 1 or 2 chase races previously (88%)
7/8: Finished 5th or better last time out (88%)
7/8: Aged 8yo or older (88%)
7/8: Raced at Ascot (3) or Cheltenham (4) last time out (88%)
5/6: winners carried 11st or more (83%)
6/8: Won over at least 3m (fences) before (75%)
5/8: Raced at Ascot (fences) before (63%)
5/8: Aged in double-figures (63%)
4/8: Returned 4/1 or shorter (50%)
4/8: Irish bred (50%)
3/8: Carried 10st 13lbs or less in weight (38%)
3/8: Winning distance head or shorter (38%)
2/8: Won last time out (25%)
2/8: Winning Favourites (25%)


The progressive REIKERS ISLAND was a beaten favourite at Newbury 7 weeks ago but the return to a right-handed track is in his favour this time and he remains unexposed. Classy-duo Black Corton and Coneygree are feared most.

The Racing Horse Verdict:

1 Black Corton 10/3 (2nd)  2 Calipto 9/1 (WINNER)  3 Reikers Island 11/4

Exacta paid £28.30 & CSF £25.33

Black Corton won over fences at this meeting last year and goes there in good form - Paul Nicholls. This horse is a solid jumper and loves Ascot and because it is a limited handicap it will suit and in good form.


2.45 Ascot: Betfair Denman Chase (Grade 2) 3m ITV4

13/15: Won at least 4 times over fences (UK) before (87%)
13/15: Won over at least 3m (fences) before (87%)
12/15: Ran within the last 6 weeks (80%)
12/15: Rated 150+ (80%)
11/15: Placed favourites (73%)
11/15: Aged 8yo or younger (73%)
11/15: Came from the top 3 in the betting (73%)
10/15: Winners raced in season’s Gold Cup (4 winners) (67%)
..9/15: Raced at Cheltenham (4) or Kempton (4) last time out (60%)
..9/15: Won over fences at Newbury before (60%)
..6/12: Winners were aged 7yo (50%)
..6/15: Trained by Paul Nicholls (40%)
..6/15: Won last time out (40%)
..6/15: Winning favourites (40%)
..6/15: Irish bred (40%)
..5/15: Winning distance – ¾ length or less (33%)
..5/15: French bred (33%)
..4/15: Won Gold Cup (Coneygree, Denman, Kauto Star & Native River) (27%)
..3/15: Returned a double-figure price (20%)
..3/15: Ridden by Ruby Walsh (20%)
..3/15: Ridden by Richard Johnson (20%)
..2/15: Won by the Pipe stable (13%)

The average SP in the last 12 runnings is 10/3

Paul Nicholls's has won 3 of the last 10 runnings. 

Here Paul Nicholls view here...



It's hard to look beyond CLAN DES OBEAUX, who produced a top-class effort when landing the King George on Boxing Day. This 7-y-o probably has even more to offer and can cement his claims for next month's Cheltenham Gold Cup by landing this race, which his yard has won 8 times since 2000. Terrefort is clear next best ahead of Ballyhill and Thomas Patrick, who appears to have lost his way.

The Racing Horse Verdict:

1  Clan Des Obeaux 2/5 (WINNER)  2 Terrefort 5/2 (2nd)

Exact paid £1.80 & CSF £1.97

Clan Des Obeaux was well-held on his reappearance when fourth in the Betfair Chase but improved markedly to win the King George next time out and take his form to an all new level. Paul Nicholls' live Cheltenham Gold Cup contender is expected to justify favouritism on these terms and see off a potential challenge from Terrefort, who was a dual Grade 1 winner as a novice last term.

This horse looks a good thing and though we wanted 1/2 or 4/9 we have decided to take the 2/5 and make this a Pacafi. The form of this horse is well known so no rationale on this occasion but a trouble free round should suffice. What is value I hear you ask? Probably 1/2 but this really looks a fabulous opportunity and 2/5 is a fair price.


3.20 Ascot: Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) 1m7f152y

16/16: Carried 11st 7lbs or less (100%)
21/22: Winners aged 7yo or younger (95%)
15/16: Aged 7yo or younger (94%)
14/16: Placed in the top 3 last time out (88%)
14/16: Rated 130 or higher (88%)
13/16: Won 2-4 times over hurdles in UK/IRE (81%)
13/16: Raced within the last 8 weeks (81%)
13/16: Came from the first 7 in the betting (81%)
13/16: Ran at season’s Cheltenham Festival (81%)
13/16: Aged either 5 or 6yo (81%)
12/16: Winning distance – 3 lengths or less  (75%)
11/16: Placed favourites (69%)
10/16: Carried 10st 9lbs or less in weight (63%)
8/16: Returned a double-figure price in the betting (50%)
8/16: Irish bred (50%)
8/16: Came from the top 5 in the betting (50%)
7/16: Won last time out (44%)
7/10: Aged 5yo (70%)
6/16: Winning favourites (38%)
3/16: Raced at Cheltenham last time out (19%)
3/16: Trained by Nicky Henderson (won race 5 times) (19%)
3/16: Trained by Gary Moore (19%)
2/16: Raced at Leopardstown last time out (13%)
2/16: Owned by JP McManus (13%)
1/16: Won County Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival that season (6%)

The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 14/1

Nigel Twiston-Davies's has won the race twice in the last 10 runnings (Al Dancer). Gary Moore has also won the race twice in the last 10 runnings (Ar Mest)


GETAWAY TRUMP took another step forward when second to the highly-exciting Champ in the Challow last time, cruising into contention in a steadily-run contest, and he can continue the fine record of novices in this with victory, the drop back in trip and the prospect of a strong pace big positives. Al Dancer and Didtheyleaveuoutto head up the dangers.

The Racing Horse Verdict:

1 Didtheyleaveuoutto 8/1  2 Al Dancer 11/4 (WINNER)  3 Mont Des Avaloirs 9/1

The selection looks value. He is a sturdy gelding and a fourth foal and brother to bumper winner Armaans Wish. Dam was unraced but half-sister to very smart hurdler/top-class chaser (17f-3¼m winner) Denman and the ungenuine but useful hurdler/chaser (2m-2½m winner) Silverburn (both by Presenting). He was a dual bumper winner and useful form over hurdles, won a maiden at Fakenham in October and introductory event at Ascot (by head from Thomas Darby) in November. Needs to be forgiven last run but travels strongly and remains a smart novice in the making.

His trainer Nick Gifford told us: "We're not disappointed that they've switched the race to Ascot as he's been there twice before and won twice. He goes there with a chance but you have to forget his last run at Kempton. This will tell us which race we should be looking towards at Cheltenham."


3.55 Ascot: Betfair Ascot Chase (Grade 1) 2m5f8y

16/16: Won over at least 2m4f (fences) previously (100%)
15/16: Priced at 15/2 or shorter (94%)
14/16: Winners didn’t win their next start (88%)
14/16: Winners from the top 3 in the market (88%)
10/12: Returned 2/1 or shorter (83%)
13/16: Ran within the last 7 weeks (81%)
12/16: Winning distance – 4 lengths or more (75%)
12/16: Favourites placed (75%)
12/16: Officially rated 157 or higher (75%)
11/16: Priced 2/1 or shorter in the market (69%)
11/16: Winning favourites (69%)
..7/16..Won between 1-4 times over fences previously (44%)
..7/16: Unplaced in their latest race (44%)
..7/16: Raced at Kempton (King George) last time out (44%)
..5/16: Ran in season’s Ryanair Chase (1 winner, Cue Card) (31%)
..5/16: Won over fences at Ascot previously (31%)
..5/16: Won last race (31%)
..3/16: Raced at Cheltenham last time out (19%)
..3/16: Ridden by Barry Geraghty (19%)
..2/16: Trained by Alan King (13%)
..2/16: Trained by Nicky Henderson (13%)
..2/16: Trained by Paul Nicholls (13%)

Note: The 2005 & 2006 – Run at Lingfield Park


POLITOLOGUE gave 6lbs to Charbel when accounting for that rival in November and, with that form franked since, he edges a narrow verdict to come out on top having found his stamina stretched in the King George since. Waiting Patiently failed to complete through no fault of his own in that very race and is entitled to consideration with the prospect of more to come. Cyrname completes the shortlist.

The Racing Horse Verdict:

1 Waiting Patiently 7/4 (2nd)  2 Politologue 4/1

The selection was most unfortunate on his reappearance in the King George on Boxing Day, when badly hampered and unseating his rider mid-race. He had previously made it six from six over fences when winning this race last year and must go go close this time.

Trainer Ruth Jefferson told us: "Everything fell into place with his preparation last season but it has been much more difficult this year. We had a few options of where to go and this was one of them having won the race last season. He's only run once this year, so it's hard to say if there's any more improvement to come - we'll have to find out. We've always thought this sort of trip was ideal for him. We thought he would stay three miles but we never found out. I think it will be a strongly run affair but he settles well and pops away over those fences."

Yes, he might need the run but highest rated in this field and will be well ridden by Brian Hughes.


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