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Saturday, December 16, 2006


Ascot, Saturday, December 16, 2006

2.10pm £100,000 BGC Long Walk Hurdle (Grade One), 3m 1f

GOING: Good to soft, soft in places round course, good in places in straight

for the best odds go to www.BritOdds.com
BP= the best price at the time of writing

1) 2-012 BLAZING BAILEY Alan King 4-11-07 Robert Thornton
Classy four-year-old who seems to be getting better with each run. Steps up to beyond three miles for the first time. Recent gutsy second to Black Jack Ketchum gives him a big chance. BP=10/1

2) 4P3-6 FIRE DRAGON Jonjo O’Neill 5-11-07b Tony McCoy
Very capable staying hurdler at best. Has a bit to find with Mighty Man at the weights on last season’s form and did not fire first time out this season but in hot company. It should be different her with McCoy on board. BP=11/1

3) 33122 IRISH WOLF Peter Bowen 6-11-07p Tom O’Brien
Very progressive in past 12 months. He ran his best race to date when close second to Inglis Drever at Newbury last month and must be considered. BP=10/1

4) 3/1-3 JAZZ D’ESTRUVAL Nicky Richards 9-11-07 NON-RUNNER

5) LOUGH DERG David Pipe 6-11-07v Tom Scudamore
Fair third to Hardy Eustace at Ascot on his return to hurdling after failing to take to fences last term. Easily held by Mighty Man on that running. Still with something to prove. BP=40/1

6) MIGHTY MAN Henry Daly 6-11-07 Richard Johnson
Top-class individual who conceded eight pounds to Hardy Eustace when second to that rival over an inadequate trip at Ascot in November. Will relish this extended three miles. Outstanding claims but is a very short price. BP= Evens

7) 13-21 NEPTUNE COLLONGES Paul Nicholls 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh
Mixes hurdles and fences well and comes here having won Newcastle’s Rehearsal Chase last time. Ideally suited by plenty of give in the ground. No value though. BP=3/1

8) 03-44 NO REFUGE Howard Johnson 6-11-07p Paddy Brennan
High-class on his day but has failed to show his true form in the past 12 months. Ran better than the bare form suggests when fourth to Hardy Eustace here. But looks held. BP=33/1

9) 0-1P4 REDEMPTION Nigel Twiston-Davies 11-11-07 Mr David England
Veteran who caused an upset when defeating My Way De Solzen in a Grade Two hurdle at Wetherby in October. Fair fourth to Inglis Drever last time gives him a bit to find here. Had his day at Wetherby. BP=33/1

10) 110-P TEMOIN Nicky Henderson 6-11-07 Mick Fitzgerald
Rattled off a hat-trick as a novice last season. Found wanting in Aintree handicap in April and again when pulled-up at Newbury in November. Made mistakes last time and inexperience is likely to cost him again.. BP=33/1


Mighty Man is the outstanding candidate but his price a bit miserly given the size and quality of the field. The best value is with BLAZING BAILEY who is available at 10/1 and should be backed each-way.


1.10pm £70,000 BGC Silver Cup Handicap Chase 3m

Main Trends

No winner has been aged over nine since 1973.

The last 18 scorers had not raced more than three times previously that season with most having had one or two runs

Only one horse has scored on his seasonal debut in the last 18 runnings.

15 of the last 18 winners had previously been in the first four that season.

A bumper field of 18 lines up for the BGC Silver Cup Handicap Chase, which returns to the redeveloped Ascot on Saturday December 16, after being staged at Windsor in 2004. Last year’s renewal, also due to be staged at Windsor, did not take place due to frost.

No horse older than nine has prevailed since 1973 and this strong trend rules out a swathe of runners.

Five horses aged 10 are eliminated consisting of joint top-weight Take The Stand, Royal Emperor, Iris Royal, Fork Lightning and Iznogoud, as well as the 11-year-olds See You Sometime and Grand National specialist Clan Royal.

The last 18 winners have come into the BGC Silver Cup Handicap Chase relatively lightly raced, with none having appeared more than three times previously that season, and most having had two or one earlier runs.

The winners have usually shown some form coming into this race, with 15 of the last 18 having been in the first four earlier in the season.

Graphic Approach was only fifth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on his sole start, while Copsale Lad pulled up in the same contest. Lacdoudal was only sixth at the same Cheltenham meeting on his only outing this term, while Billyvoddan was fifth on his solitary run in a Grade Two chase at Ascot. All are eliminated.

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Legal Right is the only winner since 1986 to have scored on his seasonal debut, having done so in 2000. Backbeat and Windsor Boy will have to buck that trend to prevail and are overlooked.

Continuing with the trend of good recent form, 11 of the last 18 winners finished in the first two on their most recent completed start. Kelami and Zabenz both came home third last time, while Ardaghey was a well-beaten 11th in the boylepoker.com Chase at Cheltenham.

The removal of that trio from the equation leaves the in-form seven-year-olds, Cornish Sett and Harris Bay, who have both had only two starts this term.

Codebreaker is thus left with a difficult choice as both are second season chasers with plenty to recommend them but the decision is to go with HARRIS BAY, winner of both his starts this term, on the grounds of weight.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Cornish Sett has to shoulder 11st 6lb and only five of the past 18 winners carried that weight or more to victory, with the past two winners, Spring Grove and Horus coming home under 10st 11lb and 9st 12lb respectively.

Harris Bay has only 10st 8lb on his back and can take the prize for trainer Henrietta Knight.

The gelding won his latest start in the Allied Irish Bank (GB) Private Banking Handicap Chase over the course and distance on November 17, a race contested by three of the last nine winners.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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