A look ahead to the horseracing this weekend

I have entitled this post a look ahead to the horseracing this weekend as a few star names are on show but, and as nice as it is to see them, they are all effectively unbackable unless you fancy a five-fold acca over the two days. It pays just over 7-1 so I might have a throwaway tenner.

The Grade One 3m1½f Betfair Chase at 3.00 is the race of the day Saturday. No trainer has won this more times than Paul Nicholls and Triple G favourite Bravemansgame is a strong fancy for this year's renewal. I would argue he was an unfortunate loser at Wetherby in the G.2 Charlie Hall Chase earlier this month trying to give away weight where a last fence blunder cost him momentum and he was beaten in the final half-a-furlong. Sadly he is again odds-on. Nicky Henderson was open about the Grade Two 1965 Chase at Ascot being the preference over the Betfair Chase at Haydock for Shishkin earlier in the week and he will be at Ascot Saturday afternoon. Henderson said earlier this week “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that two-miles-five around Ascot is going to suit him better than three miles in the soft at Haydock. The ground at Ascot will be preferable and he’s almost certain to go there. He’s won a two-mile-five race there and we know he likes it (the track).” The trainer added “This is a prep race for the King George and we want to win it. He didn’t travel as well as he might in his races last season and I think we might put some cheek pieces on him. We’ve schooled him in them and they help keep his mind on it.” Unsurprisingly he is also odds-on. Out in Ireland their race of the day on Saturday is the Grade One 2m½f Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown at 2.35. State Man makes his seasonal debut and with no Constitution Hill to worry about, the only horse to beat him last season, the six-year-old is odds-on to make a winning return to action in the Emerald Isle.

Come Sunday Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs makes his return to the track in the G.1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown over in Ireland and is another that will be odds-on. We of course also have the Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu with the top-rated Flat horse in the world right now Equinox on show; unsurprisingly he will also be odds-on.