Ascot Chase – Saturday 17th February

Ascot Chase Treble for Cue Card?

CUE CARD has already won 2 Ascot Chases in 2013 and 2017.  He is likely to be reunited with Paddy Brennan for his penultimate run on a racecourse.

His current odds of 9/1 reflect the fact that although he is the highest rated horse in the race at 166 it will take an enormous turnaround in form shown this season for him to claim his 3rd Ascot Chase.

Added to that only one 12yo has won this race in the 22 year history of it’s running.

Ascot Chase win number 4 for Henderson?

Nicky Henderson trains the current favourite for the Ascot Chase.

TOP NOTCH is currently available around the 7/4 mark at most bookmakers.  He has a 100% record around Ascot having run here 3 times.

2 of those victories have come over fences with the most recent having come in November in the Grade 2 1965 Chase where he won impressively by 8l.  Amongst the field that day was Frodon who will be amongst his rivals again here.

Since then he has also won the re-arranged Peterborough Chase which took place at Taunton in December where again he ran well within himself.  He should arrive here fresh and raring to go.

Ascot Chase Contenders

I think this is a much higher quality field he is up against.  Alongside Top Notch rated at 164 there is also FRODON & WAITING PATIENTLY.

Frodon was a hugely impressive winner last time out at Cheltenham under Bryony Frost.  He routed the field to scoot clear and win by 17l.

This belied his previous runs so it is hard to gauge whether that run was a fluke or the start of something big for Paul Nicholl’s 6yo.

Recently departed Malcolm Jefferson’s great hope for Cheltenham this year was Waiting Patiently.

The horse is 5 from 5 over fences and seems to improve with every run.  His most recent victory at Kempton in January whilst at first glance does not seem that great then when you look at the the time it shows the cruising speed that this horse has and he hardly seemed to get out of 2nd gear!

Where it will get interesting is if Cue Card decides the pace is too slow and pushes for home early as both Waiting Patiently and Top Notch like to track the leaders and not take it up too early.

CONEY ISLAND is the only representative over from Ireland.  Barry Geraghty takes the ride.  The horse has already had experience of Ascot having won here in December albeit against a favourite who ran an absolute stinker so it is hard to gauge the form.  Also his jumping that day when he was under pressure left a lot to be desired.

The other 2 horses in the race are SPEREDEK & TRAFFIC FLUIDE.  Whilst not ruling them out entirely it would be a huge shock if either of these were to come home first.

Tip of the Day

My Ascot Chase tip is for WAITING PATIENTLY to continue on its upward curve and lower the colours of Top Notch.

He is generally available at 11/4 with most bookmakers.

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