Through The Card: Ascot, Saturday December 17

There is jumps racing from Ascot on Saturday
There is jumps racing from Ascot on Saturday

Timeform take you through the card at Ascot on Saturday.


12:40 - BALLINURE (3) was disappointing when down the field on his most recent outing at Cheltenham, but appeared unsuited by the drop back to two miles that day and better can be expected now returned to a more suitable trip. He is now only 2 lb higher than when winning at Newton Abbot in September and is fancied to be thereabouts with the in-form Barry Geraghty taking over in the saddle. He is joined in the Placepot by stablemate MINSTREL ROYAL (4), who produced a career-best when second at Aintree last time and could yet be capable of better after just six starts over hurdles.

13:15 - TOP NOTCH (3) has made a promising start over fences and defied a penalty to take his record to two wins from three starts at Plumpton 19 days ago. He appeared to have matters in hand from some way out on that occasion and, while this represents by far the toughest task of his chasing career to date, Top Notch should prove extremely difficult to beat if reproducing the best of his smart hurdles form here and looks by far the most solid proposition with the Placepot in mind.

13:50 - ORBASA (5) never went a yard when pulled-up on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree last month, but is entitled to improve with that first outing for over six months under his belt and would appear to hold sound claims if bouncing back to his useful form of last season here. Meanwhile, DUSKY LARK (11) shaped well when second on his return from seven months off the track at Kempton and would probably have won but for a shoddy round of jumping. He looks potentially very well-treated from the same mark and is also considered with the Placepot in mind.

14:25 - UNOWHATIMEANHARRY (7) took his unbeaten record for Harry Fry to six wins from six starts in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury three weeks ago, travelling smoothly into contention as the field turned into the straight and quickly asserting once hitting the front two-out. That form leaves him 2 lb clear of his nearest rival on Timeform ratings here and Unowhatimeanharry is fancied to consolidate his World Hurdle credentials in this Grade 1 prize, with Lil Rockefeller feared most of the remainder.

15:00 - EDUARD (4) shaped as if retaining plenty of ability when fourth on his return from 21 months off the track here last month, looking understandably rusty after so long on the sidelines and keeping on well in the circumstances to get within two and a half lengths of the winner. He makes his handicap debut from what looks a fair mark here and should prove difficult to beat if able to reproduce his best form over this longer trip. IRISH SAINT (6) shaped well when fifth after a similar off at Cheltenham five weeks ago and is also included in this penultimate leg of the Placepot.

15:35 - CONSUL DE THAIX (16) was highly-tried in two starts for Nicky Henderson last season and showed why he is held in such regard when second on his seasonal/handicap debut at Sandown two weeks ago. He stayed on strongly close home to get within three-quarters of a length of stablemate Brain Power on that occasion and - 4 lb better off with that rival at the weights here - Consul de Thaix is expected to reverse the form and can land a typically competitive renewal of this race in the process. Dan Skelton has enjoyed notable success with an interesting group of young hurdlers so far this season and his MEET THE LEGEND (12) is also considered for Placepot purposes.


Win back CONSUL DE THAIX in the 15:35 at Ascot

Placepot permutation:

12:40 - 3, 4
13:15 - 3
13:50 - 5, 11
14:25 - 7
15:00 - 4, 6
15:35 - 12, 16

16 lines


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