Two races for us this afternoon, both at Ascot. A mild day forecast with the going declared as good to soft. In the afternoon temperature of 14c and a light southerly wind, the ground will be drying.
2.25 Ascot JLT Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1)
Thistlecrack is the horse on the upgrade and heads the market with the majority of layers.
It is difficult to gauge the merit of his latest win at Newbury with both Cole Harden and Whisper running poor races.
Saphir Du Rheu reverts to hurdles after running in the Hennessy. Finished a distant fifth and weakened near the end. A drop of 2f from that Newbury run today.
He ties in closely with Reve De Sivola, who has won the last three runnings of this event.
Reve De Sivola has had the same preparation as last year, having run in France before coming here.
There is every chance he retains most of his ability and at the current 9/2 he would make some appeal. The softer the ground the better.
3.00 Ascot Sodexo Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed Race)
Worth trying to spot some value in this wide open handicap.
Bottom weight Gullinbursti is on a fair mark. Returns after a long absence. Has gone well fresh in the past
Currently 14/1 generally and 16/1 in places. Worth consideration.
My best wishes for Christmas and the new year