The Racing Paper - - Tv Races And News - BEN MOR­GAN

As­cot 1.50 - With the ground so firm, train­ers are hes­i­tant to let some of their bet­ter horses run on such a hard sur­face.

So I was re­lieved to see Nicky Hen­der­son de­clare WENYER READY FRED­DIE (NAP) as I think he is one of the bets of the week­end. He has al­ways been highly rated and although he strug­gled for con­sis­tency over hur­dles he was never over faced.

Hen­der­son knew his fu­ture lay over the larger ob­sta­cles and, af­ter a good break, he re­turned with a sec­ond placed ef­fort at Ut­tox­eter against Lil Rock­er­feller. At the time it looked a great run and look­ing at what the win­ner has achieved since backs that up. There was no fluke about it and this in­ter­me­di­ate dis­tance should be right up his street. Take your buck­ets down the book­ies and get ready to cash in on Fred­die!

Wetherby 2.05 - I’m go­ing to throw one in here which hasn’t been get­ting the re­spect it de­serves. WHATZDJAZZ is a good ground-lov­ing mare who has some strong form to her name. When she has faced a de­cent sur­face she has per­formed ad­mirably in some hot races. She is a strong trav­el­ling type so the drop back to two miles shouldn’t hin­der her too much and although the two mar­ket lead­ers will be the fo­cus of much of the bet­ting, I ad­vise you to think twice be­fore dis­re­gard­ing my se­lec­tion.

As­cot 2.25 - Harry Skel­ton’s pres­ence at As­cot to­day sug­gests that SHANTOU ROCK is per­haps one of the sta­ble’s bet­ter chances to­day and I can see why. This bold front run­ner seems to per­form best when fresh and once in a jump­ing rhythm is very hard to peg back. The way As­cot is set up could suit him.

Wetherby 2.40 - I’ve tipped two Skel­ton run­ners so why not make it a hat­trick? Every­one seems to be fo­cus­ing on who isn’t lin­ing up in this year’s Char­lie Hall whereas they should be look­ing at who is run­ning. It will be noted that a rein­vig­o­rated VIR­GILIO has been de­clared. A horse with ob­vi­ous po­ten­tial 18 months ago, strug­gled to put his best foot for­ward at times but Dan Skel­ton has worked his magic and got this horse back to his best. He loves a de­cent sur­face and his run at Ut­tox­eter last time out was an im­pres­sive weight car­ry­ing per­for­mance.

As­cot 3.00 - I was very keen on Deyran De Car­jac in this race but Alan King has de­cided to wait to cash in on his le­nient mark which forced me to think again. I’ve set­tled on MAGIC DANCER (NB). He re­turned from a sum­mer break at Chel­tenham last week, on what I thought was a very good mark, be­ing just 4lbs higher than when he hacked up at the same track in the spring. Un­for­tu­nately he met a lot of traf­fic as the race de­vel­oped and even­tu­ally bumped into a good one. How­ever, he re­mains on the same mark here and, granted a good pace to aim at, I think he can cash in. Wetherby 3.15 - OLD GUARD edges it as he has the ben­e­fit of a re­cent run un­der his belt and thrives off good ground. Paul Ni­cholls would have been pleased with his reap­pear­ance at Kemp­ton as the two mile trip might just have been a bit sharp for him and he should be much more at home over three miles in a weak look­ing grade two. Whole­stone is eas­ily good enough to win this but I just think he could be caught out for fit­ness late on.

As­cot 3.35 - If you haven’t had a win­ner by this point in the day it might be time to PLAY THE ACE. Peter Bowen’s run­ner is a proper good ground horse who has re­dis­cov­ered his best form in re­cent months and is still 5lbs below his best mark. Car­ry­ing bot­tom weight will cer­tainly aid his cause and the Bowens aren’t ad­verse to pick­ing up a big Satur­day prize.

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