Ray Flanagan with his best bets for a busy Saturday programme,
Hopefully a few treats and no tricks for Halloween.
Ascot 2.15- Sgt Reckless
Sgt Reckless is feasibly treated particularly on his hurdles form and is chosen to make a significant step forward on his chasing debut this afternoon. An eye-catching fourth in the 2014 supreme novices hurdle, he suffered from training mishaps last season enduring a truncated campaign. He was boldly thrust into the Arkle at Cheltenham with limited practice and displayed some promise albeit not looking able for it all on the occasion. As a result he begins handicap life off a reasonable rating and he might take advantage.
Ascot 3.25-Pendra and Fox Appeal
Pendra has been a bit disappointing thus far but it is possible that we will see him fulfil his potential this year. Highly tried as a young horse he had some fair form over hurdles before commencing chasing as a five year old. He has never convinced me as the strongest of stayers yet connections had the audacity to run him in the Irish Grand National as a young six-year old novice last season. He suffered from an interrupted campaign last year and under the circumstances did not fare too badly at Cheltenham albeit again looking a dodgy stayer over 3 Miles. I think he is handicapped to win, it just depends if he can stay. Nonetheless he is bound to be getting a little stronger as he gets older and might get away with it on quick ground this afternoon.
Fox Appeal is a fair yardstick. He was a good second over three furlongs shorter here last season and posted a fine comeback at Cheltenham last week. He holds each way prospects.
Down Royal 1.40- Shamar
Interesting fare and while initially I was between Fethard Player and Hostile Fire, in the end up I am taking a chance with rank outsider Shamar. This lad was a useful novice a couple of seasons ago and looks well handicapped on the pick of those efforts including a close second to the useful King Of The Picts. After a spell in the wilderness, he has picked up again recently on the flat and is no 25-1 shot if repeating the trick over obstacles.
Wetherby 2.00- Aqulim
Aqalim has the look of an improver and unlike some of his opponents is fully proven at 3 Miles. He posted a good effort at Sandown when last seen and his stable is in good form.
Wetherby 3.05- Dynaste
Dynaste returns a fresh horse after missing the spring of this year. In receipt of ten pounds he holds solid claims and should be primed following a recent run in Auteuil
Keeneland 6.10- Miss France
An interesting contest with the Europeans holding the edge bringing the 2015 and 2014, 1,000 Guineas winners to the party. Miss France looks easily the value option. Her best form is not quite as good as Legatissimo but her season has been built around this race and it is just possible that she will handle the track better.
1 pt ew- Shamar-1.40 Down Royal-25-1 General
1 pt win-Sgt Reckless-2.15 Ascot-9-2 General
1 pt win-Aqalim-2.00 Wetherby-9-2 General
1 pt win-Dynaste-3.05 Wetherby-7-2 General
1.5 pts win-Pendra 3.25 Ascot-7-1 General
0.5 pts win Fox Appeal-3.25 Ascot-8-1 General
1 pt ew-Miss France-6.10 Keeneland-7-1 General