15:35 Ascot - George's runner to skin 'em in feature
This looks a cracking race over fences, with Tea For Two and Saphir Du Rheu at the top of the weights. However, with the unusually dry conditions - I'm going for a horse that is best on this sort of terrain, and that's A Good Skin.
As a novice, he travelled really well through a couple of races and scored on decent ground during Cheltenham's April meeting in 2015. He made progress last term too - and snatched second in the Kim Muir despite some jumping mistakes. He's a chaser that will have plenty to offer this term for his trainer Tom George.
The quicker surface will help his smooth style, and a big field at a true pace will suit as he will stay further than 3m - and he can be a horse that runs on with a bit of driving at the end. Fitness won't be an issue with a recent outing at Chepstow - and that was a good race where he finished third to the well-handicapped Potters Cross.
I've taken a positive view of that contest, and the winner that day is a thorough stayer.
Priced at around 13/2, he has some bigger guns to beat, but conditions should suit and the yard have enjoyed a couple of good ground winners in the past ten days. Hopefully he can iron out the odd error that creeps into his jumping.
17:05 Wetherby - Rambler to come good over hurdles
I've been waiting for Blue Rambler to run over hurdles again, and I get my wish for Saturday, as he lines up in competitive handicap at the Yorkshire venue from a mark of 122.
This will be just his fifth start over the obstacles, having raced previously with John Ferguson. His new trainer Ian Williams ran him on the Flat last time in Newmarket's Cesarewitch - and I put him up as a selection in this column. He was 24.0 BSP that day and traded at 8.0 in-play, and for a while he had a half-chance until he didn't quite see his race out - but he moved really well.
His only previous handicap run over hurdles came in a messy stop-start race at Market Rasen, but I was greatly encouraged by his outing on the level a few weeks ago.
His trainer is in decent nick at the moment - with four winners from the previous seven days (and three seconds), and this nice flat track will suit him.
Saturday's Recommended Bets
Back A Good Skin 0.5pt @ 9.08/1 in the 15:35 at Ascot
Back Blue Rambler 0.5pt @ 3.505/2 in the 17:05 at Wetherby
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