Ascot on Saturday: Tips and runners for every race including Fakir D’Oudairies

Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’Oudairies chases a Grade 1 victory in the Ascot Chase. There are seven races on the card, with the Reynoldstown the first graded contest at 1.50

Fakir D’Oudairies (right) racing over hurdles at the 2019 Grand National meeting

Favourite Fakir D’Oudairies bids to give the Irish a boost ahead of the Cheltenham Festival in the Betfair Ascot Chase (3.38).

On the seven-year-old’s last trip to Britain, he emerged triumphant at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

With just a few weeks to go to Cheltenham, where Irish trainers dominated 12 months ago, Joseph O’Brien’s gelding races for the £85,425 first prize.

In opposition is last year’s winner Dashel Drasher, King George regular Saint Calvados and Fanion D’Estruval, from in-form Venetia Williams’ stable.

They are among eight runners going to post on soft ground, a description which could change with further rain and wind in the forecast.

The Grade 2 Bateaux London Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (1.50) sees progressive novice Corach Rambler tackle five rivals, while a competitive field has assembled for the Listed Swinley Chase (2.25).

Colin Tizzard’s top weight Fiddlerontheroof heads the betting, but Hold That Taught, at the other end of the handicap, has attracted market support.

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Race-by-race tips for Ascot

1.15 – Join Kim Bailey Racing Novices’ Hurdle

1 Hecouldbetheone

2 Unanswered Prayers

3 Ballyblack

4 Skytastic

5 Holerday Ridge

6 Jeffery’s Cross

7 Kap Auteuil

8 Mouriyani

9 Scarface

TIPPING VERDICT: Dual bumper scorer Skytastic carried on his unbeaten record tacking obstacles, form which has been franked by the runner-up. He is highly regarded and bigger days should await him, yet he has not raced on a surface slower than good to soft. Given he went twice at Doncaster, a track which normally has better ground, it is a question mark. The tentative vote goes to KAP AUTEUIL, who has gone up the weights significantly in chases. Trainer Toby Lawes switches him back to hurdles and he meets the other previous winners on decent terms.

1.50 – Bateaux London Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

1 Does He Know

2 Annual Invictus

3 Corach Rambler

4 Doyen Breed

5 Fern Hill

6 J’ai Froid

TIPPING VERDICT: CORACH RAMBLER returns to his best trip at Grade 2 level. Fourth in the Classic Chase at Warwick, against more experienced chasers, that probably came too soon for him. Beforehand he won with a bit in hand at Cheltenham, a test for a novice – and Aintree too. After a 35-day break, his hurdles form is with plenty of give in the ground, so there could be more to come. Conditions are not ideal for Does He Know. Annual Invictus has something to prove following a lacklustre round at Plumpton and connections deploy cheekpieces in order to spark a revival. Fern Hill’s form looks a shade below this class and J’Ai Froid has not proven he is up to his rating over fences.

2.25 – Swinley Chase (Listed)

1 Fiddlerontheroof

2 Caribean Boy

3 Truckers Lodge

4 Fortescue

5 Regal Encore

6 Sojourn

7 Ask Me Early (second preference)

8 Larry

9 Cobolobo

10 Hold That Taught

TIPPING VERDICT: Fiddlerontheroof is up 5lb in the weights for his solid Ladbrokes Trophy effort. It was a career best and he will run his usual honest race, but on soft ground this trip might stretch him. Caribean Boy toughed it out at Kempton wearing cheekpieces which are retained. Anthony Honeyball’s star veteran Regal Encore took this in 2018 and has been placed in the next three renewals, although his form has tailed off a bit this season. The progressive Ask Me Early looked a suitable candidate for the Welsh National and Harry Fry’s first preference is to run him at Wincanton. His ability suggests this would be an appropriate target, yet connections have chosen an easier option following a training setback. Hold That Taught has form with him and is respected under Charlie Deutsch. However longshot SOJOURN is tipped each-way. Recent efforts have been uninspiring, however he has switched to trainer Martin Keighley who has got the best out of similar types. Conditions will help and he’s running off the same mark as when second in the 2020 Tommy Whittle. He travelled with zest that day and if the team have found the key to him he has a good place chance.

Ask Me Early and Sean Bowen in action at Chepstow



3.00 – Dingley’s Promise Handicap Hurdle

1 Easysland

2 Christopher Wood

3 Ballybegg

4 Reserve Tank

5 Highway One O Two

6 Cap Du Mathan

7 Straw Fan Jack

8 Shantou Express

9 Good Risk At All

10 Zacony Rebel

11 Lucky One

12 Piccadilly Lily

13 Small Bad Bob

TIPPING VERDICT: Good Risk At All’s jumping is the question mark and his price is very short. Cap Du Mathan impressed on the back of a 714-day absence and his supporters will be hoping he can be as good second time up. With Paul Nicholls lacking winners, there are better alternatives. Ballybegg wore blinkers when winning at Haydock and had some quality form as a novice. Zacony Rebel took a small race last time after his Fontwell score worked out. HIGHWAY ONE O TWO bumped into a well-weighted opponent at Kempton and he has performed solidly at the track, so he earns the tentative vote.

Easysland won at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival



3.35 – Betfair Ascot Chase (Grade 1)

1 Dashel Drasher

2 Fakir D’Oudairies

3 Fanion D’Estruval

4 Lostintranslation

5 Mister Fisher

6 Saint Calvados

7 Two For Gold

8 Waiting Patiently

TIPPING VERDICT: No match for impressive Cheltenham Festival winner Allaho on his last two starts, FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES gets his chance at Grade 1 level. There is no horse of that calibre in this line-up and he did well to finish second given his error at the first fence. Adaptable with regards to the going, Joseph O’Brien’s charge was a 12 length winner in this grade at Clonmel in November. He has reportedly travelled over well given the adverse weather conditions and is a worthy favourite. Mister Fisher, on good terms with himself last time, has the raw ability to make a race of it, but the ground may have softened a little too much for his liking. He can secure the forecast spot. Last year’s winner Dashel Drasher is four from five at the venue. Classier rivals await in this renewal, while Saint Calvados’ second run of the season is never good as his first.

4.10 – Ascot Racecourse Supports The Autism In Racing Handicap Hurdle

1 Smurphy Enki

2 Wynn House

3 Bobo Mac

4 Guerlain De Vaux

5 Sirobbie

6 Art Of Diplomacy

7 Grovesnor Court

8 Imphal

9 Bean In Trouble

10 Amateur

11 Glencassley

12 I’m A Straman

13 Atakan

14 Grand Lord

15 Guillemot

TIPPING VERDICT: A competitive event. Art Of Diplomacy stretched away from his Catterick opposition with a bit in hand, as Cillin Leonard takes 5lb off for this assignment. Dr Richard Newland’s charge is rightly one of the favourites for the follow-up bid. Imphal’s recent progression has been on ground no worse than good to soft. GLENCASSLEY has been set some stiff tasks and appears on a workable mark. The return to a longer distance gives Paul O’Brien’s mount an each-way chance.

4.45 – British EBF Mares’ Open NH Flat Race

1 Roc Of Dundee

2 Houi Cherie

3 Kraqueline

4 Non-runner

5 Missed Vacation

6 Presenting A Queen

7 Ilovethenightlife

8 Kylenoe Dancer

TIPPING VERDICT: Kraqueline ran an encouraging race on debut and her stable sent out an impressive bumper winner recently at Hereford. Roc Of Dundee has a 4lb penalty to carry on the back of her Wetherby performance. She had the run of the race that day however and it will be harder to make all at this venue. Missed Vacation showed promise when a clear second at Uttoxeter, with connections chasing a fitting result. Chris Gordon has saddled a couple of useful types in this sphere of late, including newcomer Leave Of Absence in the same colours as PRESENTING A QUEEN. She was a short-priced favourite when finishing second in a point, which suggests she is well thought of.

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