Ascot Tips: Defi Du Seuil to grab 1965 Chase glory

Ascot Tips: Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation lock horns in the 1965 Chase on Saturday.
Ascot Tips: Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation lock horns in the 1965 Chase on Saturday.

There's a star-studded seven-race National Hunt card lighting up at Ascot on Saturday afternoon, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has picked out his three best bets on what should be a thrilling few hours of quality jumping action at the Berkshire venue...

14:05 Ascot - Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase

Jeremy Scott's Dashel Drasher was one of the unlikely stars of last season, as the eight-year-old racked up some notable Graded wins during an epic campaign, and he will look to kick off his season on a winning note in an intriguing renewal of the Grade 2 Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase, which is off at Ascot at 14:05. All three wins - including in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase - came at Ascot, so a return to the Berkshire venue will certainly be a huge positive, but he will have to give significant weight away to some notable rivals, and one of those that can capitalise is the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil.

Receiving 6lbs from Scott's charge, DEFI DU SEUIL is on a comeback mission somewhat as the former Triumph Hurdle and JLT Novices' Chase winner was out of sorts last season, and was last seen finishing fifth in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Stepping back up in trip for this event, Hobbs' raider could enjoy the extra distance, and he's shown before that he can bounce back with aplomb at the highest level, and he looks the value play.

He should have the measure of old adversary Lostintranslation, who will lack the pace to down his rival, while Master Tommytucker's jumping can often let him down, so it's wise to take on the favourite with Defi Du Seuil, who can ignite his chances as a potential Ryanair Chase player come March.

14:05 Ascot - Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase
Defi Du Seuil silk

Defi Du Seuil

lost

14:40 Ascot - Coral Hurdle

Only five go to post for the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at 14:40, but it's another fascinating contest which will see the return of the enigmatic GOSHEN, as he looks to recapture his best form that saw him touted as a potential Champion Hurdle contender. However, Gary Moore's star will have to down the in-form Nicky Henderson-trained Buzz, who was last seen winning the Cesarewitch on the Flat at Newmarket, and he will make an eagerly-anticipated return to the jumping game.

A strong favourite, at the time of writing, Buzz was last seen over hurdles finishing second in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting, and he will receive 6lbs from both Goshen and classy stayer Song For Someone in this event, so that's a huge positive for an exciting contender.

But, if Goshen turns up with his A game then it's hard to not fancy his chances of recapturing the winning thread. Eighth in the Champion Hurdle and then fifth in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on his last two starts, Goshen had shown his class when romping to victory over Song For Someone in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton last season, and if he can replicate that performance then he has to stand a great chance. Yes, you are taking a real flyer on the quirky Moore star, but if he can produce the goods then he should have too much class for his rivals here.

14:40 Ascot - Coral Hurdle
Goshen silk

Goshen

lost

15:15 Ascot - Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase

Before Midnight bounded to an emphatic six-length victory over Sky Pirate when the pair clashed as Cheltenham last month, and the duo will lock horns once again on Saturday and could be the pair to fight out the finish in the 15:15 contest. Landing an impressive hat-trick in the process, the Sam Thomas-trained Before Midnight continued his scintillating progression, but he's been handed a significant 8lb hike for that effort, and it will be Sky Pirate that will be on much better terms in this event, and looks the play.

A former winner of the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, Sky Pirate has been a real revelation over two miles over the last 12 months for Jonjo O'Neill, and while Before Midnight was upped significantly for that Cheltenham run, SKY PIRATE remains on a mark of 159, so with an 8lb pull on his market rival then the Jackdaws Castle inmate can reverse the Prestbury Park form.

Not out the first two in his last five starts (three wins, two seconds), Sky Pirate has become a real model of consistency, and it would be no surprise to see him using this event as a springboard to Graded company next time out, and the proven class act in the race can dish out Before Midnight's first defeat in a while in a scorching event.

15:15 Ascot - Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase
Sky Pirate silk

Sky Pirate

lost
Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase Odds
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