Steve Hughes previews a competitive Ascot card
Some open handicaps highlight a decent first day of two at Ascot. I have selections in the two handicap chases. We had a good Sunday at Cheltenham with Palmers Hill a 9/1 (advised) winner and Silver Streak second for the each-way bet (SP 12/1).
Ascot 2.40: More Bucks
Very disappointing when with Paul Nicholls, More Bucks has this summer provided another advertisement for the talents of trainer Peter Bowen and this 8yo might have slipped under the radar for this decent prize.
Formerly a horse who did not find much for pressure, More Bucks improved greatly on his first start for the Welsh handler, winning by no less than 21l at Perth in June (albeit helped by a late faller). He then landed one of the prime summer races, the Summer Plate at Market Rasen.
Whilst he has gone up 10lbs for that, he has had a nice fitness boost for today by running at Ffos Las recently. He had little chance that day, racing on ground too soft for him and over hurdles which was never going to see him in the best light. However because he was pulled up that day, the bookies have put him in at a good each-way price. Without that outing he might have been shorter in the market, but might have lacked for fitness.
Ascot 3.15: Battle of Shiloh
Very lightly raced over the years, Battle of Shiloh is clearly not easy to train. However he does go well fresh and first time out might be the time to catch him.
Not many horses win their first six races, but this gelding did under all codes – two points, two hurdles and two chases. Between those races were gaps of 63 days, then 345, 109, 166 and 65 so the fact we have not seen him on the track since just before last Christmas needn’t matter.
Admittedly he has struggled somewhat in recent races, but was a close third on seasonal debut at Bangor last season and burst a blood vessel when last seen at Ludlow just a month later. Trainer Tom George has made an excellent start to this term and I think we can assume this 9yo will be fit enough for his return to the track.
0.75pts each-way – More Bucks – 2.40 Ascot – 12/1 Bet365, BetVictor
1pt win – Battle of Shiloh – 3.15 Ascot – 11/2 Bet365, BetVictor