Timeform Shortlist: Ascot, Saturday December 19

There is a cracking card at Ascot on Saturday
There is a cracking card at Ascot on Saturday

It's Ladbroke Hurdle day on Saturday at Ascot, and you can view the Timeform Shortlist for free here.

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12.40 Foundation Developments Ltd Novices' Handicap Hurdle (4) 2m7f118y

Timeform Top Rated:
132 13. KNIGHT OFTHE REALM Caroline Keevil Ian Popham
131 12. VAROM Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
130 16. GET INVOLVED Robin Dickin Charlie Poste

Analyst's Verdict:
Knight Ofthe Realm's Exeter form received a boost when the third won subsequently and he's worth another chance to show he's still on a good mark having almost certainly found the run coming too soon when only fourth at Taunton since. Carlo Rocks, Say My Name and Minellacelebration are obvious threats, while Woodford Island would be also respected if turning out (due to run here on Friday).

1.15 GL Events Owen Brown Graduation Chase (2) 2m5f8y

Timeform Top Rated:
162 4. VOIX D'EAU Harry Fry Noel Fehily
160 5. HORIZONTAL SPEED David Dennis Aidan Coleman
158 2. ROYAL REGATTA Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson

Analyst's Verdict:
Voix d'Eau continued his race-by-race progress over fences when scoring at Doncaster recently, and he could be the answer in quite a tricky Graduation Chase. Blue Fashion is interesting on chase debut having found Grade 1 level too tough over hurdles last term, with Mala Beach also worth a second look.

1.50 BGC Partners Handicap Chase (3) 2¼m175y

Timeform Top Rated:
146 4. BIG CASINO Nigel Twiston-Davies Wayne Hutchinson
145 8. ULTRAGOLD Colin Tizzard Noel Fehily
144+ 3. LA VATICANE David Pipe Tom Scudamore

Analyst's Verdict:
Big Casino has shaped much better than the result implies when having his stamina stretched on a couple of occasions since returning to the fray in October and may be the one to side with back at this more suitable trip. La Vaticane has done little wrong since coming to Britain and is entitled to be on the premises again. Gores Island and Marcilhac make up the shortlist.

2.25 JLT Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1) (1) 3m97y

Timeform Top Rated:
176p 8. THISTLECRACK Colin Tizzard Tom Scudamore
175 6. SAPHIR DU RHEU Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
173 5. REVE DE SIVOLA Nick Williams Richard Johnson

Analyst's Verdict:
Thistlecrack made a splendid start to his second season over timber when taking the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month, and with the prospect of better to come after only 7 starts in this discipline, is fancied to score again. Saphir du Rheu is greatly feared returning to this sphere, while Reve de Sivola is likely to make a bold bid for his fourth straight success in this event.

3.00 Sodexo Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed) (1) 2m7f180y

Timeform Top Rated:
175 8. THE GIANT BOLSTER David Bridgwater Tom Scudamore
171 10. PENDRA Charlie Longsdon Barry Geraghty
171? 6. HOUBLON DES OBEAUX Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch (5)

Analyst's Verdict:
Salubrious has obviously had his problems, but he was a very smart hurdler and has shown a likable attitude to win both his starts over fences, and we may not have seen the best of him yet. Pendra finally put it all together to win over C&D last time, and he will be dangerous if able to back that performance up, while Wakanda has impressed so far this term and commands respect, also.

3.35 Ladbroke (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) (1) 1m7f152y

Timeform Top Rated:
162 7. NOBLE INN W. P. Mullins David Mullins (3)
161 18. ZARIB Dan Skelton Harry Skelton
160 17. STERNRUBIN Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson

Analyst's Verdict:
It was hard not to be impressed by Winner Massagot's recent reappearance over C&D, tanking along throughout and easily going clear of his rivals in the closing stages. That performance marked him down as one to follow and he looks the one to side with. Jolly's Cracked It, Sort It Out and Waxies Dargle are others to consider in a fiercely-competitive handicap.

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