ASCOT – FEBRUARY 17
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2017: £76.00 (6 favourites – 1 winner – 3 placed – 2 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Ascot:
Leg 1 (1.15): 1 (Captain Cattistock) & 5 (Dame De Compagne)
Leg 2 (1.50): 4 (Ms Parfois), 1 (Black Corton) & 3 (Mount News)
Leg 3 (2.25): 2 (Tenor Nivernais), 1 (Gold Present) & 3 (Royal Encore)
Leg 4 (3.00): 4 (Kildisart), 7 (Le Patriote) & 5 (Dieg Man)
Leg 5 (3.35): 1 (Coney Island) & 5 (Top Notch)
Leg 6 (4.10): 7 (Ballyheigue Bay), 11 (Laugharne) & 2 (Templeross)
Suggested stake: 324 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.15: Five and six-year-old have (equally) shared six of the last seven contests between them. Paul Nicholls held two options for CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK today and it’s interesting to note that the other race was an event at Wincanton which Paul has won for each of the last five years, now leaving the trainer without a runner in that contest. Such a move is clear indication that Paul was ready to throw his five-year-old Black Sam Bellamy gelding into this tougher assignment following two (soft and heavy ground) victories at Wincanton thus far. Six-year-old Count Meribel is not easily overlooked, though the Twiston-Davies raider has to overcome a slightly disappointing effort the last day, albeit in decent company. Accordingly, DAME DE COMPAGNE (receives ten pounds from Captain Cattistock) is offered up as the main threat to the marginal selection in a fascinating opening event.
Favourite factor: Eight of the eleven market leaders have secured Placepot positions, statistics which include five winners, albeit the 2012 (4/7) favourite could only secure the silver medal, whilst a 4/9 jolly was another Placepot casualty despite finishing second in what was a 'win only' contest.
Record of the course winners in the opening race:
1/1—Count Meribel (good to soft)
1.50: Seven-year-olds have won 11 of the last 19 renewals of this ‘Reynoldstown’ event and with only a 33/1 chance in opposition to three vintage representatives, the trend looks set to be extended. This is going to be a big day for Ruth Jefferson, with two highly regarded inmates strutting their stuff down south following Ruth‘s first winner at Kelso on Thursday. MOUNT NEWS is first up on behalf of the stable and whilst possessing plenty of undoubted ability, Ruth’s Presenting gelding will need to be a little sharper with his fencing to trouble to front two in the market I fancy. That said, I will add MOUNT NEWS into my Placepot permutation alongside MS PARFOIS and BLACK CORTON who are listed in order of preference, mainly because of the seven pound concession from one to t’other. There is also the fact that Anthony Honeyball can do little wrong (recent ratio of 9/21) at present, notwithstanding the fact that Ms Parfois was oh so impressive in each of her victories at Cheltenham, Newbury at Warwick of late. In truth, I am also influenced by the 2/1 quote for MS PARFOIS over and above even money about Black Corton.
Favourite factor: The last 19 winners have produced a top priced winner of 17/2. 10 favourites secured Placepot positions (eight winners) during the study period.
2.25: Anyone who witnessed the thirty length victory of TENOR NIVERNAIS in this event on soft ground last year cannot help but be attracted to the 7/1 odds (generally on offer) about the Venetia Williams raider. Placepot inclusion is taken as read accordingly, whilst 14/1 about the other Anthony Honeyball raider (REGAL ENCORE) on the card also catches the eye. Anthony has already saddled a winner here at Ascot this season with his level stake profit at the track standing at 13 points. That said, I fully respect the chance of GOLD PRESENT who could yet be anything in this grade/company.
Favourite factor: Three of the seven market leaders have finished in the frame to date (exact science).
Record of the course winners in the third event on the card:
1/2—Gold Present (good to soft)
2/4—Tenor Niovernais (2 x soft)
1/4—Royal Encore (good to soft)
1/3—Minella Daddy (good to soft)
3.00: Ten of the last twelve winners (including nine of the last ten gold medallists) have carried weights of 11-2 or less, whilst six-year-olds have won four of the last six renewals. Taking the facts and stats into account, I’m offering KILDISART, LE PATRIOTE and DIG MAN against the other six contenders, the trio having been listed in order of preference.
Favourite factor: Nine of the last seventeen market leaders have secured Placepot positions, statistics which include three (11/2**, 11/4 and 9/4) winners.
Record of the course winner in the fourth race:
1/1—Kildisart (good to soft)
3.35: It goes without saying that it is difficult to leave Cue Card out of the equation, especially as he has won this event on his only two starts in the contest in 2013 and again last year. Time moves against us all unfortunately and if there was just one horse barring the way for Colin Tizzard’s grand servant sentiment might have ruled the day, though with four rapidly improving seven-year-olds in the contest, that option is not a variable with Cue Card now showing distinct signs of wear and tear. Speredek was included in the afore mentioned quartet out of sheer admiration for a horse that does not know the meaning of defeat though on this occasion, CONEY ISLAND, TOP NOTCH and WAITING PATENTLY are three mightily impressive types to take on. The trio are just about listed in order of preference at the time of writing, though much could change by the time that flag fall arrives! Barry Geraghty is responsible for giving the Irish raider the marginal call, given that the horse looked beaten the last day but Barry insisted that he was merely idling, giving the impression that there was much more to come from the Flemensfirth gelding, though there needs to be in this company! In terms of potential future champions, this is the most exhilarating renewal of this event since the old king died.
Favourite factor: 14 of the 19 market leaders during the study period claimed Placepot positions, statistics which include thirteen successful market leaders. Ten of the last twelve favourites have won with the other gold medallists during the period scoring at 11/2 & 4/1.
Record of the course winners in the feature race on the card:
1/1—Coney Isalnd (good to soft)
2/2—Cue Card (2 x soft)
3/3—Top Notch (2 x good to soft & soft)
4.10: The booking of James Bowen aboard BALLYHEIGUE BAY catches the eye and no mistake, as does the amount of cash waiting in the positive queue, just in case potential layers miss the trainer/jockey combination, given that Chris Gordon landed another decent prize with Tara Bridge at Sandown yesterday. Others for the mix include TEMPLEROSS, BUCKLE STREET and the potential ‘dark horse’ in the contest LAUGHARNE.
Favourite factor: Both favourites have claimed bronze medals when securing Placepot positions to date.
Record of the course winner in the Placepot finale:
1/1—Desert Sensation (good to soft)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners (two or more) on the Ascot card on Saturday – followed by their seasonal ratios (in brackets) and five year figures at the track + profits/losses accrued on both counts:
6 runners--Nicky Henderson—6/38 (loss of 9 points) – 30/154 (loss of 39)
4—Gary Moore (3/20 – loss of 5) – 8/82 – loss of 25
4—David Pipe (0/1) – 9/59 – loss of 3
3—Kim Bailey (1/5 – loss of 2) – 3/32 – loss of 23)
3—Martin Keighley (First runners at Ascot this season) – 1/12 +2
3—Paul Nicholls (2/11 – loss of 5) – 29/152 – loss of 22)
2—Anthony Honeyball (0/3) – 1/8 +13
2—Ruth Jefferson (First ever runners at Ascot)
2—Suzy Smith (0/5) – 1/14 – loss of 7
2—Colin Tizzard (0/15) – 8/63 – loss of 3
2—Nigel Twiston-Davies (1/10 – loss of 5) – 2/46 – loss of 35
2—Tim Vaughan (First runners at Ascot this season) – 0/10)
2—Evan Williams (0/4) – 3/46 – loss of 21
+ 16 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
53 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Haydock: £95.30 – 7 favourites – No winners – 3 placed – 4 unplaced
Wincanton: £66.80 – 6 favourites – 3 winners & 3 unplaced
Lingfield: £55.90 – 6 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced
Kempton: £61.30 – 6 favourites – 1 winner – 3 placed – 2 unplaced