Placepot Pointers

Placepot pointers – Saturday 23rd January

ASCOT

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Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2015: £34.60 (6 favourites: 2 winner--2 placed--2 unplaced)

12.40:  Alan KIng's Kempton Christmas debut winner GIBRALFARO went into many notebooks (including mine) when accounting for some decent types and this is a good test to see if the Dalakhani colt is up to taking on the best in a Cheltenham Festival event in March.  CONNETABLE is an interesting recruit from France representing the Paul Nicholls bandwagon, whilst the entry of SWINCOMBE TONY adds icing on the cake.
Favourite factor: Seven of the last eight renewals have been won by market leaders whilst two horses returned at 100/30 prevailed in the first two contests. 

 
1.15:  The hardest race on the card to assess in many ways (despite the monstrous handicap finale), with my short list comprising of BRODY BLEU, beaten favourite CAPILLA and MOUNTAIN KING.  That said, even in a field of just nine runners, you could nominate three or four horses with every chance that none of ours would match up.  Best of luck!
Favourite factor: This is a new race on the Ascot card.
 
Ascot record of course winners in the second contest:
1/3--Mountain King
1/5--Fairy Rath
 

1.50: Harry Fry has saddled the last two winners (Highland Retreat and Bitofapuzzle) and though Harry's eight-year-old raider DESERT QUEEN lacks some of the potential of those two gold medallists, Noel Fehily's mount looks sure to give a good account of herself. Six-year-olds lead the seven-year-olds 3-2 via the last five renewals whereby AURORE D'ESTRUVAL and VROUM VROUM MAG are obvious dangers representing the two vintages.  VROUM VROUM MAG is a winner of nine of her 13 races to date, having finished 'in the three' on the other four occasions.

Favourite factor: Four of the seven favourites have been successful from a toteplacepot perspective to date, statistics which include two winners.  
 
Ascot record of course winners in the third race on the card:
1/2--Dark Spirit
1/1--Desert Queen
 

2.25: Five-year-olds come to the gig on a four timer and MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR and BARON ALCO appear to be the pick of this year's four vintage representatives. Chasing has not gone to plan for VALUE AT RISK who would be a big player here if his confidence has not been knocked after a couple of falls over the larger obstacles, whilst fellow seven-year-old ZULU OSCAR receives the overnight reserve nomination in a typically competitive Ascot handicap hurdle. Without wishing to confuse readers by listing the names of too many horses, plenty of respect is also paid to Nicky Henderson trio of declarations.

Favourite factor: Just one of the nine favourites has obliged to date, whilst just two market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions.
 
Ascot record of course winners in the fourth event:
1/1--Lil Rockerfeller
1/1--Simply A Legend (C&D winner)
1/2--Royal Guardsman
1/1--Sugar Baron
 
 
3.00: Paul Nicholls has saddled four of the last seven winners of this Grade 1 event, three of which were returned as favourites.  VIBRATO VALTAT was Paul's only option earlier in the week and sure enough, the trainer has offered his seven-year-old the green light.  Although the thick end of half a stone behind SIRE DE GRUGY and the progressive UN DE SCEAUX on official ratings, VIBRATO VALTAT has conditions in his favour and should get nearer than the official assessor suggests I'll wager. UN DE SCEAUX faces his toughest task yet despite the form figures, whilst SIRE DE GURGY is not quite the force of old despite some fine efforts this season.  A truly fascinating renewal of what is always an informative race, won last year by the subsequent 'Queen Mother' winner Dodging Bullets.
Favourite factor: 13 of the 15 winners since the turn of the Millennium have been returned at 5/1 or less, stats which include seven successful favourites.
Ascot record of course winners in the fifth leg:
1/1--Sire De Grugy (C&D winner)
 

3.35:  Nine of the 13 winners carried weights of 10-13 or less whilst Paul Nicholls comes to the gig on a hat trick, having saddled the last two winners at 12/1 and 11/2.  Eight-year-olds have secured three of the last six contests and putting all the stats and facts together, my short list consists of SALUBRIOUS, BERNARDELLI and TARA ROAD. Although SALUBRIOUS carries far more weight than the trends suggest to produce a victory, it's impossible to ignore Paul's nine-year-old, especially as SALUBRIOUS was Paul's only entry at the five day stage.  TARA ROAD is a definite each way player down the foot of the handicap, whilst BERNARDELLI represents the north with a sporting chance. 
Favourite factor: Three of the 13 renewals have fallen the way of the favourite, whilst seven market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions thus far.
 
Ascot record of course winners in the toteplacepot finale:
1/3--Cold March
1/3--Royal Regatta (C&D winner)
3/5--Reve De Sivola
1/3--Tara Road
 
All references to placed horses on these pages are based on an exact science regarding general place terms offered by bookmakers and totepool.com
 
 
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Ascot card on Saturday:  
 
5--Venetia Williams
4--Nicky Henderson
4--Philip Hobbs
4--Gary Moore
4--Paul Nicholls
4--Evan Williams
3--Dr Richard-Newland
2--Rebecca Curtis
2--Harry Fry
2--Nick Gifford
2--Alan King
2--Willie Mullins
2--David Pipe
2--Nicky Richards
2--Dan Skelton
2--Nigel Twiston Davies
2--Nick Williams
1--Kim Bailey
1--Peter Bowen
1--Tony Carroll
1--Jo Davis
1--Jariah P Fahey
1--Chris Gordon
1--Anthony Honeyball
1--Martin Keighley
1--Neil King
1--Emma Lavelle
1--Charlie Longsdon
1--Charlie Mann
1--Seamus Mullins
1--Pat Murphy
1--Ali Stronge
1--Lucy Wadham
1--Robert Walford
1--Sheena West
1--Ian Williams
1--Noel Williams
 
68 declared runners
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