Wherever you are betting Saturday it’ll pay to factor in the ground conditions.
All the jumps meetings, with Haydock and Taunton pending Saturday morning inspections are likely to be contested under extremely soft or heavy conditions. Ability to perform under these extremes will be influential in race outcomes.
Ascot Clarence House Chase Meeting
Four races of interest at Ascot, firstly the 1:50 Matchbook Better Way To Bet Handicap Hurdle
My analysis of this race revolves around Janika. Most recently Janika has been competing in Grade 1 Chases. Go back to his latest effort over hurdles, a 6 ¾ length 4th to Summerville Boy at Cheltenham and Janika is very well handicapped here back over hurdles.
Absent for 343 days from the racetrack, pricing Janika up, for both odds compilers and punters is extremely difficult. If Janika turns up with his A-game and puts in a performance on a par with the Cheltenham effort then the gelding is a very likely winner here. I make him around a 2/1 – 5/2 chance on that form.
Gauging Janikas fitness and readiness to perform to that level is ‘finger in the air stuff’, unless your privy to his wellbeing at home?
As I write Janika is a 6/1 chance, it would be no surprise to see him very well backed tomorrow, likewise, I wouldn’t be surprised if he drifted like a barge. There’s a certain level of risk in backing him now, I’m happy to take that chance given how well handicapped Janika appears.
We’ll know nearer the off as the money shapes the market whether that is a good position to take, or not!
War Lord Overpriced
Janika aside, Lightly Squeezed, Kateson and the improving Paddys Motorbike warrant respect but, the market look to have them at the right prices.
Two that look overpriced are Botox Has and War Lord. With Botox Has you need to look past his latest effort and there is evidence that points towards him being a better horse on ground quicker than he’ll encounter at Ascot.
However Janika shapes up, War Lord looks worth a bet at 12/1 (19.0 on the Exchanges), that’s the wrong price. War Lord has shown he’s at his best in very testing ground and tomorrows conditions will be ideal for him.
His 3rd behind Alberts Back is a decent piece of form, a reproduction of which would merit him being positioned in the betting around the same price as current market leader Lightly Squeeze. That makes War Lord an obvious bet at the current prices and I expect he’ll go off a fair bit shorter once the market matures.
Bet365 Handicap Chase
For me, the 3:00 Bet365 Handicap Chase is all about Dashel Drasher.
While it was just a 3 runner affair he won last time out at Ascot, the time suggests he is nicely handicapped here. I have Dashel Drasher as 3/1 chance, so at 7/1 he looks a decent bet.
Good Boy Bobby has some back form comparable to that of Dashel Drasher, but at a lesser price, I much prefer the selection.
3:35 Clarence House Chase
The forms there for everyone to see and at 6/4 Politolgue looks a fair price.
His defeat of Min at Aintree back in 2018 marked him down as a very high-class performer when racing under extreme conditions. Until recently, Politilogue has never seemed to capture the public recognition that his performances merited.
He’ll be very hard to beat in the heavy ground tomorrow, and I’d suggest he’s a better chance than the current 6/4.
4:10 Matchbook Betting Exchange British EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle
I think we have the wrong favourite here on the opening shows, for me Vallares is the most likely winner. Bet365 have priced up as an 11/4 chance, that’s too big and I can see Vallares going off the favourite and under 2/1.
If you can get on, 11/4 looks a decent price on Valerres.