It is a really competitive looking Beway-sponsored card at Wincanton, but I always look forward to the Betway Kingwell Hurdle (15:18).
It has been used as a good stepping stone to the Champion Hurdle and, although it’s often a small runner affair, it’s always a good race that produces good horses.
I like the look of Navajo Pass for Donald McCain and Brian Hughes. I think he’s good and may have flown under the radar.
He stays two-and-a-half miles, but on his latest start over two miles, he beat a dual champion hurdle winner in Buveur D’air, so he’s obviously still improving.
He’s got a good one to beat in Song For Someone , who won this race last year when it was re-scheduled to Kempton. He’s got a little touch of class.
We all know about Goshen , who has to prove himself following some disappointing runs on both codes, but it’ll make for an exciting race.
It’ll be good to see Hell Red back on the track in the 13:38.
He was so impressive when he sluiced up at Chepstow in October, but there was clearly an issue with him at Cheltenham the next day when he pulled up. He has since had his breathing operated on, which backs up the point that it must have been niggling him.
He won’t be a big price at all to win this contest, but he should be come through this and may be a horse to keep on the right side of going forward.
It could be a good afternoon for Paul Nicholls, Harry Cobden and owner Johnny de la Hay. They run Malaya in the big field handicap hurdle (15:00) and she’s got a great each-way chance.
She’s consistent and loves it at Ascot. She looks fairly treated at 136, too.
Thirty-five minutes later, the same connections have Cyrname running in Grade 1 Ascot Chase (15:35).
I think he’s simply much too good for this field. He did pull up at Kempton Park in the King George last time, so he does have a little bit to prove, but we know what he’s capable of on his day.
4 To Win on Saturday
Itchy Feet won a Grade 1 over fences recently and is the most talented of these horses. A switch back to hurdles shouldn’t be an issue for him and he should take all of the beating.
Regal Encore absolutely loves it around Ascot. He’s been in great form this season and to him, age is just a number! The 13-year-old still has plenty of ability and will be doing his best work late.
This race is going to be a real test, isn’t it? A distance of 3m4f in heavy ground at Haydock is a real slog, but Potters Legend stays all day and will love the conditions.
Take Your Time is still improving and was a good third behind a smart horse here last time, This race doesn’t look as strong, so I expect him to go well under Bryony Frost.
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