Longshot Ted: Four for the Christmas period

Ascot's card on Saturday includes the Silver Cup Handicap Chase.
Ascot's card on Saturday includes the Silver Cup Handicap Chase.

In a bumper edition of his weekly column, Ed Quigley picks out two bets on Saturday's action at Ascot, before taking a look at the big staying chases over the festive period; the King George VI Chase and the Savills Chase...

The Silver Cup Handicap Chase takes place at Ascot on Saturday, and I am really looking forward to seeing KILDISART back on the track. The seven-year-old was third behind Lostintranslation at Carlisle last month on his seasonal comeback, which was more than satisfactory, but then like many of Ben Pauling's string, has been on the back burner since due to the dodgy batch of hay which forced the yard to be shut down for the best part of a month. Off 155 I think he has scope for further improvement, and could be a horse from left-of-field to make up into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender. As far as this contest goes, the presence of Black Corton would ensure that he doesn't have the burden of top weight and he has plenty of top form on soft ground. With form figures of 1521 at Ascot, it is a track he clearly enjoys, and a return to three miles is a big positive. Moving further down the line, as long as he stays in one piece I think he has a bright future over staying trips.

In the Betfair Exchange Trophy, I like the claims of TAMAROC DU MATHAN for the Paul Nicholls team. I thought the four-year-old shaped with plenty of potential on his stable debut when second to Master Debonair over C&D last month. The French import looked a raw individual who should have learnt a great deal from that experience. Off 135, I like the scope he has as a potential improver and should be right in the mix. He should have stripped a lot fitter after his first outing in 19 months and with the potential for soft ground holding no fears, a big run should be on the cards. On paper I don't think this looks the strongest of renewals, and is often the case with this contest, and unexposed improver is generally the type of horse you want to fit the profile.

The big one of course over the Festive period is the King George VI Chase, and we are looking a renewal that definitely focusses on quality over quantity. By my reckoning, the field is unlikely to have many more than six runners, but on paper looks an epic showdown. Cyrname arrives here on the back of an excellent performance when handing Altior his first defeat over obstacles. Officially the highest rated horse in the country, it has been a meteoric rise to stardom over the last twelve months. A combination of a relentless gallop and slick jumping have seen him conquer all in recent times, and no doubt he will be a major player in this encounter. He does however, go into unknown territory in regards to his stamina, so will have to settle nicely at the head of affairs in order to see out the trip. If he does so, he may well not be caught but I just have a nagging doubt. 

Clan Des Obeaux landed this last year in smooth fashion, and in some ways has been a bit overlooked this time around. He has the been there and done it factor about him, but with this race brimming with quality, he will probably need to take his form to the next level to land this. Footpad is the joker in the pack, as last year's Arkle winner is a bit of an enigmatic character, but is a classy operator, especially on soft ground. The Willie Mullins representative could come in to his own over staying trips this season, and providing the ground has plenty of cut in it, he could easily have a say in the outcome of this race. A facile success at Thurles in a listed assignment last time out will have boosted his confidence ahead of lining up here. 

My preference however is for the Colin Tizzard trained LOSTINTRANSLATION, who oozes class and charisma in abundance. The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old made it three wins on the bounce when inflicting defeat on Bristol De Mai at Haydock in the Betfair Chase. That was the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained gelding's first defeat at that venue. Lostintranslation jumped and travelled beautifully throughout that Grade 1 contest, pulling away at the finish, and it is his eclectic blend of speed and stamina which should serve him well here. Very patient tactics were employed from Robbie Power last time out, and if they are put into action once again here, the likelihood of a small field should negate any issue of him being hostage to fortune. Lostintranslation is starting to look the complete package. Tizzard could also be represented by Native River (needs to be supplemented) and last year's runner-up and 2016 winner Thistlecrack who ruffled the feathers of Paisley Park over hurdles last time out, and shouldn't disgrace himself on the eve of his 12th birthday. He is still running with plenty of zest.

The Savills Chase on the 28th is another contest with the propensity to be another absolute belter over the Christmas Period, with the likes of KemboyRoad To RespectPresenting PercyAl Boum Photo and DELTA WORK entered. At the prices, I think the Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old could be the value call. His jumping is his Achilles heel, as he demonstrated when finishing a well-beaten third behind Road To Respect and Clan Des Obeaux at Down Royal last time out, but when he is on-song he is a quality operator. He landed three Grade 1's last season and went close in the RSA Chase. Given his age, and how lightly raced he is over fences, it is far from unreasonable to expect further improvement from him over the coming months.

As far as the Welsh National is concerned, I am very happy with my position on Truckers Lodge who is unexposed, loves the venue, enjoys soft ground and looks to hold every chance for the Paul Nicholls team. He should be getting lumps of weight off his rivals and he could be underestimated off 139.

Win lose or draw - have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Advice:

Silver Cup Handicap Chase, Ascot, Saturday 21st December 2019 - Kildisart 1pt win at 7/1 (generally)

The Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle, Ascot, Saturday 21st December 2019 - Tamaroc Du Mathan 1pt win at 10/1 (Betfair, Unibet)

King George VI Chase, Kempton, Thursday 26th December 2019 -  Lostintranslation 2pts win at 9/4 (MarathonBet)

Savills Chase, Leopardstown, Saturday 28th December 2019 - Delta Work 1pt win at 7/1 (generally)

Already Advised:

Welsh National, Chepstow, Friday 27th December 2019 - Truckers Lodge 1pt win at 14/1 

Dave Dawes Silver Cup Handicap Chase
Kildisart silk

Kildisart

lost
Betfair Exchange Trophy
Tamaroc Du Mathan silk

Tamaroc Du Mathan

lost
King George VI Chase
Lostintranslation silk

Lostintranslation

Pulled Up
Savills Chase
Delta Work silk

Delta Work

2020 Gold Cup Odds
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