All eyes are on Ascot as the last good pre-turkey meeting gives us a chance to get well and truly stuffed, with cash.
The card builds to a crescendo and it is the last three races that catch our eye.
The Long Walk Hurdle begs the question of whether hot favourite Unowhatimeanarry is as good this year as he was when winning this last season. It is a question worth asking as he had a gruelling season last year, is surprisingly old (rising 10), and was workmanlike at Aintree then disappointing at Newbury.
L’Ami Serge is a class act, but always liable to be out-battled in a finish, Lil Rockefeller is the polar opposite.
It could be a chance to try an unexposed improver, either Thomas Campbell or Sam Spinner. If Sam Spinner can recover well from a successful but gruelling Haydock win, then an uncontested lead could give him the tactical edge.
In the next we are conflicted by good recent Newbury blog winner Gold Present, and perennial blog frustrator Singlefarmpayment.
Gold Present has untapped potential at this longer trip and is reluctantly overlooked, but we have to give Singlefarmpayment one last roll of the dice. He ran well enough at Newbury to suggest he remains well handicapped, but fell far enough out not to have emptied the tank that day.
The closing handicap sees Silver Streak head the market. He has the honour of being the first horse-racing selection on the blog, and is enshrined in blog-lore by winning that day. He looks a fraction short here given his one disappointment last season was his sole visit here.
We prefer the Henderson mare Verdana Blue. She was impressive here last time when horribly hampered early on but still a tidy winner. She enjoyed the strong pace that day and looks likely to get a similar challenge here.
She is a fair bit up in the weights, but that running style last time can be hard for the raters to catch up with, and we think she can repeat the win.
Sam Spinner, (1425 Ascot), 1pt win, 8/1 Paddy Power
Singlefarmpayment, (1500 Ascot), 1pt win, 5/1 Betfred
Verdana Blue, (1535 Ascot), 1pt win, 10/1 generally available
All 3 in a 0.5pt each way treble, approx 593/1
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