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Ascot 15.50 - Saturday 2nd October
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Date of Tips: 28/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (16:12 28/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Ante-post betting in Ascot straight track races can be fraught with danger, as the weather, ground, draw and pace can play such a combined and pivotal hand in how races pan out at the famous Berkshire venue.
However, when the price on offer is sufficiently enticing enough to counteract these facts, and the horse in question could easily prove to be good enough, and well suited enough to the nature of the race, to potentially negate any or all of these sticking points, then it’s a bet!
The Equine Productions ‘The Fall’ Challenge Cup at 3.50 at Ascot on Saturday is the race in question, and before highlighting the selection, it’s worth paying necessary attention to the film documentary after which the race is named. By all accounts, and according to the many awards it has received, ‘The Fall’ is well worth allocating the time to watch.
Anyhow, the ante-post selection is the William Haggas-trained Aldaary, who is 12/1 each-way generally for four places at this early stage in the week, and could easily go off well into single figures, if not close to favouritism.
As with all of these Ascot valuable straight-track handicaps, the cast is a familiar one with the likes of Escobar, River Nymph, Accidental Agent, Oh This Is Us, Raising Sand, Documenting and Cliffs Of Capri all boasting a good Ascot record.
But with the weather around this week – Ascot are due to get 20mm+ rain before Saturday – it could pay to side with a horse who has form on the course, and also on softened ground. Step forward Aldaary, who gets a confident vote to run very well. For what it’s worth, old pal Raising Sand nearly got a recommendation too, but the spritelier legs of Aldaary got the nod.
Aldaary’s first four career starts all came on soft ground, and he racked up three impressive wins, before a whopping run in third in a valuable Goodwood 7f handicap. Being held up in the run that day did Aldaary no favours, but he fairly scythed through the field halfway up the Goodwood straight in the manner of a horse that had plenty more to give on soft ground, and when slightly more advantaged tactically too.
His two conquerors at Goodwood, Rhoscolyn and Oo De Lally are now rated 20lbs and 13lbs (without rider’s claim that day) respectively, and have won three races between them, while Rhoscolyn has been placed in Group 3 company.
It was scorchingly hot form, and the fact that since then Aldaary has solely been met with faster ground, been disadvantaged by draw biases twice, and had his stamina stretched over 1m at York last time, all means that he has the look of a horse whose form has plateaued.
Not a bit of it! Hence, why we can back him at 12/1 each-way for the Challenge Cup at 3.50 at Ascot on Saturday, when on the back of that Goodwood run, he should be a short-priced favourite in my eyes.
I’d be hopeful of Aldaary proving that assumption correct come the weekend, and enhancing his Ascot and soft ground form.