Tony Calvin is back with his regular look at Saturday's Channel 4 races as he goes in search of some decent price winners, but our man also has his eyes on the Breeders' Cup tonight and fancies a pair of European raiders...
"He is developing a reputation for rejuvenating and improving horses from other yards, and he did just that with this ex-Twiston-Davies inmate when it bolted up by 10 lengths at Ludlow – in a first-time tongue tie - last time."
No space or time for the usual opening fluff this week, and the simple advice is to back Ma Filleule to advertise her King George/Gold Cup credentials by winning a very strong renewal of the jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal at 14:30.
Not our usual double-figure play but she rates a fair bet at odds of 4.57/2 or bigger.
Granted, this is by far her stiffest task to date but she stamped herself as a horse to follow this season when second to subsequent Grade 1 winner Holywell at Cheltenham, and then hosing up by eight lengths off a mark of 150 in a good time in the Topham.
Some shrewdies were rushing around trying to snaffle up some fancy Gold Cup prices about the mare in the immediate aftermath of that win, and not surprisingly so. It could be the big time and the King George if she wins this.
Remember, she is still only a 6yo, so we have probably not seen the best of her yet, and an open staying chase division awaits its' next star. She could be it.
I was sorely tempted by Ulck Du Lin at what are likely to be double-figure odds in the 14:20 at Ascot, as he goes well at the track and starts this season off a 19lb lower mark than the last campaign. But the lack of juice in the ground worries me.
It shouldn't be a concern for Bellenos, who has run two crackers here and comes from a stable going places quick.
This strong-travelling stalker should have the race run to suit with the likes of Next Sensation taking them along and if he jumps half as well as he did when winning over course and distance last December, then I think this 6yo will win this and go on to much better things.
He may ideally prefer softer ground, but this decent surface should be ok, so back him at odds of 6.05/1 or better.
I don't know if they have, but if he has been given a wind op in the summer - they stuck a tongue tie on him after he disappointed at Doncaster last season, which clearly helped - then so much the better. Skelton is no stranger to the benefits of such operations, after all!
I won't play in the 15:00 - though Violet Dancer would be my idea of a 20-1+ horse that could go well there - but I think Skelton could have a memorable Ascot double with What A Warrior at odds of 9.08/1 or bigger in the 15:35.
He is developing a reputation for rejuvenating and improving horses from other yards, and he did just that with this ex-Twiston-Davies inmate when it bolted up by 10 lengths at Ludlow - in a first-time tongue tie - last time.
This is much tougher obviously and he has gone up 13lb as a result, but Skelton is a thinker - indeed straight after the Ludlow race he said the horse "is now likely to go for the United House Handicap Chase at Ascot at the beginning of November, for which he should hopefully get a nice low weight" - and his long-term plan has come to fruition.
And he has won off his revised mark in the past. Restless Harry is the other interesting one in the race at a bigger price.
Back Ma Filleule @ 4.57/2 or bigger 14:30 Down Royal
Back Bellenos @ 6.05/1 or bigger 14:20 Ascot
Back What A Warrior @ 9.08/1 or bigger 15:35 Ascot