Ascot Placepot: Friday November 23

How many winners will Nicky Henderson have on Friday?

Timeform's Tony McFadden has an attempt at landing the Placepot at Ascot on Friday...

A very smart chaser at his best, Petit Robin is well treated over hurdles and has plenty in his favour here...

12:55- A low sun meant that Many Clouds only had to jump three flights on his hurdles bow at Aintree, but he showed sufficient promise to warrant inclusion in today's Placepot. He was only narrowly denied by the exciting Gevrey Chambertin on that occasion, having travelled fluently at the head of affairs, and with the Oliver Sherwood yard remaining in good form he holds strong claims here.

13:30- Minella Class's form figures do not necessarily inspire confidence, but this Grade 1-winning hurdler has no problems with testing conditions and represents leading connections. Something looked to be amiss with the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding last time he was seen in public, so we will include another horse for a bit of insurance. Restless Harry's jumping wasn't faultless on the two occasions he ran over fences last term but he will also relish conditions and his good attitude should stand him in good stead.

14:05- Lordofthehouse was certainly impressive at Wetherby last time, making up a large amount of ground having been reluctant to race. However, he had refused to race on his final two outings on the Flat and his antics at the start remain a concern. With that in mind, we will side with Close Touch who has won both of his starts in good style and doesn't have the same risks attached as Lordofthehouse.

14:40- Already looking like a much better chaser than hurdler, Marshal Zhukov is the first horse that makes the perm. He was an impressive winner at Chepstow recently, jumping soundly in the main and looking in control from some way out; any improvement on that effort will make him tough to beat. Vino Griego has increasingly been held back by a suspect attitude, but he often travels strongly, has gone well at this venue before, and may be capable of making the places at a big price, carrying very few units.

15:15- Loch Ba showed improved form on his first start for Mick Channon, justifying strong market support to easily land a handicap at Kempton. He has consequently been hit hard by the assessor but this doesn't look like the strongest of affairs and he still seems like the most likely winner. The Sawyer has been the subject of some interesting support this morning and it is not hard to see why when you consider his impressive record on soft ground and at Ascot. Bob Buckler's veteran is included in the 'pot' alongside Loch Ba.

15:50- Boasting an impressive record when fresh, Petit Robin is the first port of call in the concluding leg. A very smart chaser at his best, Petit Robin is well treated over hurdles and has plenty in his favour here. It would be a mistake to dismiss Jeremy Scott's Ifyouletmefinish who was a useful novice hurdler last term and finished a creditable seventh in the competitive Swinton Hurdle on his final start of the campaign. Although he may prove to be at his best at trips in excess of two miles, he looks interesting on his return and may be capable of hitting the frame at a decent price.

12:55- 8
13:30- 2, 3
14:05- 1
14:40- 4, 7
15:15- 6, 8
15:50- 2, 4
= 16 lines

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