It is the last chance salon Saturday for any of you hoping to nick a couple of quid to pay for those Christmas presents – hope you haven’t forgotten anyone. Horse racing takes a 4-day break after today with the big meetings Boxing Day our next chance for a punt.
It is the Christmas meeting down at Ascot on Friday and Saturday with Saturday being the most valuable racecard of Ascot’s jumps season. The weather has been causing problems again this week and the going in Berkshire is on the heavy side. With that in mind, and how it can bugger up the form, plus the fact that Ribble Valley and Angels Breath on Friday plus Paisley Park on Saturday are all odds-on, I aint getting involved.
They race on the Polytrack at Lingfield Park and it is a decent card; it’s an early start with the first off at 11.45. I am getting involved from lunchtime. At 1.30 they face 7f for the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost/Irish EBF Fillies' Conditions Stakes. Lucymai is top-rated but the six-year-old mare has been going backwards for a while and has done little in her last two starts to suggest she can win. She does drop-in class and the eyecovers go on but I think she can be taken on. Emily Goldfinch is dropping down the ratings as well but with Grace McEntree taking off 7lb she is effectively now back below her highest win mark of 81. That said her last two efforts over track and trip don’t fill you full of confidence. Rock On Baileys hasn’t won since July 2018 and never at 7f! This might go to one to the younger filly Visionara. She has a C&D victory to her name and wasn’t disgraced here last time when third over track and trip, Emily Goldfinch behind. The yard of Simon Crisford remains in form and with Callum Shepherd riding the 3yo filly is a tentative pick wearing the cheekpieces for the first time.
The main event down Surrey way is the Listed 1m2f Betway Quebec Stakes at 2.00. John Gosden looked to hold all the Aces for this early this week with three entered. Two remain and they are the pair to concentrates I think. Court House has been gelded since last seen finishing sixth in the Easter Classic back in April. I am yet to be convinced he is as good as his rating suggests. The four-year-old was also entered in the 2.35 1m4f Betway Handicap and I think that was the better race for him. Dubai Warrior is a lightly raced three-year-old who won nicely at Chelmsford over the distance last month – tipped on here. He won well enough that day and is open to improvement still after just five starts. Kasbaan re-opposes and there is no reason to think that gelding can reverse the form. It should be remembered he was jolly for the Group 3 Prix Du Prince D'orange in September though he blew his chance there. Rob Havlin rides which is seen as a tip itself.
The 1m4f Betway Handicap at 2.35 is a tricky affair as you would expect. Petite Jack caught my eye in the entries as the chestnut gelding loves it here, 7 of his 9 career wins were here in Surrey, over 1m2f or 1m4f. Never really got involved in the 1m2f Listed Churchill Stakes last month but wasn’t disgraced. James Doyle is booked to ride which has to be seen as a positive and I think the six-year-old is worth a punt at what should be an each-way price.
That’s a littler Patent bet there if you fancy, grab the best prices you can when they chalk-up.