This week’s rain will no doubt prove crucial as the Venetia Williams yard kicks into gear and bids for a first victory of the season with Espoir De Guye at Ascot this afternoon.
2.05 Ascot – Williams contender looks to defy top weight
Venetia Williams is yet to have a winner this season but with the rain over the last week, you would imagine a success is around the corner and could come in the Royal Ascot Racing Club Handicap Chase (2:05) with Espoir De Guye.
The eight-year-old will have to shoulder top weight under Charlie Deutsch but has plenty of class and should relish the likely soft ground against a host of decent rivals.
Paul Nicholls is in flying form and sends Tamaroc Du Mathan in the Johnny de la Hey colours, who have a decent strike rate at Ascot, whilst Michael Scudamore’s Do Your Job is interesting having disappointed when favourite in the Old Roan Chase.
3.15 Ascot – Henderson goes for third victory in hot hurdle
The Garden For All Seasons Handicap Hurdle (3:15) has gone the way of Nicky Henderson in the last two years and the Seven Barrows maestro runs Gipsy De Choisel here under Daryl Jacob.
The six-year-old looks to be on the improve and has a decent chance having won at Warwick last time out for the Munir & Souede team.
Others to note include Onemorefortheroad for Neil King who finished fourth at Aintree last month, as well as four-year-old Doctor Parnassus who surely has to be better than a disappointing fifth of five at Cheltenham behind Pied Piper.
2.40 Ascot – Maxwell hoping Tiger can thrive after wind operation
David Maxwell has added the likes of Saint Calvados to his ranks in the off-season, but it could be old favourite Cat Tiger that does the business in the Not Forgotten Handicap Chase (2:40).
Amateur rider Maxwell delivered Cat Tiger expertly on the line to win at this venue last season, and ended that campaign with an excellent second in the Foxhunters’ at Aintree.
Williams also sends Kapga De Lily who won this heat last year, whilst teenager Regal Encore returns for more at the age of 14 for Anthony Honeyball.
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