A quality field of 7 go to post in the Ascot Chase on Saturday, in a race that wouldn’t look out of place at the major spring festivals. Top Notch currently heads the market at 7/4, arriving on the back of two successive Grade 2 wins. He was a Grade 1 winner as a novice last season and conditions will be ideal for him today. However, the two closest to him in the betting have the potential to be a cut above and he looks vulnerable.
Coney Island (3/1) and Waiting Patiently (5/2) are two horses who haven’t yet reached their peak. Waiting Patiently is 5 from 5 over fences and produced another excellent performance when bolting up at Kempton on his last start, while Coney Island was also a Grade 1 winner as a novice last season and drew effortlessly clear when winning here in December after a year off. Slight preference is for Waiting Patiently to come out on top today. The step up in trip looks ideal and he could be the real deal. The Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham is the likely target after this and if the ground isn’t too quick next month, he has a great chance of doing the double.
Elsewhere on a busy Saturday of racing, Ch’Tibello (7/4) should run a big race in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton and Blaklion will take all the beating in the Grand National Trial at Haydock if he is fully tuned up after a short break.
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*Prices correct at time of publication