Saturday Yankee: Splash cash on Ash…

The Daily Yankee

NAP OF THE DAY:  Ashtown Lad, (1425 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 11/4: 

An interesting novice event in which Ashtown Lad has come the slightly unusual route via handicapping.  Unusual, but impressive.  He won easily from a Pipe horse who is always strong on reappearance, with a true Uttoxeter specialist well beaten in third, and a further gap to a horse who won well here yesterday.  His revised mark is good enough to go close here, but the scope to improve further is huge.

Ibleo, (1315 Cheltenham), 3/1:  not too many to get excited about here with weight, course or form issues for most of the field.  It should rest between Ibleo and Sky Pirate, but with Jonjo’s runner very hard to win with, this looks an ideal chance for Ibleo.  Venetia Williams’ runner was just touched off at Ascot and gets in here off a nice low racing weight.

Cepage, (1350 Cheltenham), 7/1:  a re-run of the Paddy Power won by front runner Coole Cody, but the addition of Champagne Mystery and Master Tommytucker will make for a cut-throat battle for the lead which will probably undo them all.  Al Dancer makes most appeal of the Paddy Power runners, but this will be a marginally stiffer test on the New Course and both Windsor Avenue and Cepage are preferred.  Windsor Avenue has a huge chance on his last run through winner Imperial Aura, but less so through those close up behind, and he has to prove he likes it here.  Cepage has no such doubts.  He probably doesn’t have too much in hand off this mark, but he has been placed in this race the last twice, and trainer Venetia Williams has clearly chosen to come straight here with a horse often best fresh (seasonal debut form of 1222). 

Ch’tibello, (1520 Cheltenham), 9/1: a cracking race that revolves around hot fav Goshen.  He was running away with the Triumph here before a last flight disaster.  That gives him a huge chance but his recent flat runs were underwhelming and the opposition here is much tougher than his juvenile days.  A closely knit bunch of veterans take him on, and much as we love Silver Streak and Ballyandy, the weights here favour Ch’tibello whose penalties have expired and who is much better off with many of these than in recent runs.  He ran a big race at Aintree last time, but this course and distance is his real optimum.

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