Friday, 18 December 2015

Friday at Ascot

With the Nicholls stable slightly in the doldrums it's proving difficult to put up any selections from there at the moment.
If we look at previous seasons and take last year to begin with November was his best month numerically in terms of winners with 28 from 90 runners. This season he had a similar amount of runners 89 but 19 winners.
Ok that by itself isn't anything to write home about but if we move onto December he has so far had just 7 winners so he needs to pick up a bit if he wants to continue previous December form over the last few seasons of 20, 17, 20 and 19 winners.
We are now over halfway through the month and we have a couple of holiday days and plenty of good races to tackle over the holiday period.

Onto today then and we are at Ascot:

Paul Nicholls
Ascot - Soft, good to soft in places
12.50 - Semper Invicta is a new recruit from Ireland having run just the once in a point to point where he finished 2nd of 5 at Punchestown. He was purchased at the Brightwells Cheltenham festival sale for £90,000 in March. He is big and backward and the chances are he will have needed his first run of the season at Ascot when 4th of 10 in a Class 4 bumper on good to soft where he was outpaced from over two furlongs out. He now switches to hurdles and steps up 5f in trip so we should see him in a better light in this Class 3 maiden hurdle. The race isn't anything out of the ordinary so you would hope he would be capable of a place and there is a range of thought amongst the bookmakers as to what his chances actually are. 
Coral, Ladbrokes and Bet365 are paying quarter the odds a place 1,2,3 - whereas others offer one fifth and Coral are best priced 16/1.

1.55 - All Set To Go has a flat rating of 100 and competed in Group company in Ireland before being acquired. His dam is a half sister to the Chester cup winner Anak Pekan. He had a disappointing start to his hurdling career at Kempton in May when a well beaten 4th and since then he has had his wind sorted out. A lot better is expected from this horse and he appreciated the soft going and being fitted with a tongue tie for his second start over hurdles at Southwell in a Class 5 maiden hurdle over one mile seven and a half furlongs on soft going when easily winning by 6 lengths as he was entitled to do.
He faces a sterner test here up against the highly promising Yanworth who is the one to beat on what we have seen so far.

2.30 - Le Mercurey was purchased with a chasing career in mind and he got it off to a good start in a Class 3 novice chase at Plumpton on 16/11 when driven clear to win by 6 lengths. the second Violet Dancer has won again since and there was 25 lengths back to the third. Le Mercurey is said to have strengthened up over the summer and had the required Ditcheat wind operation and it is hoped that he can live up to his halo in the yard. Nicholls is confident that he will go to the top as a chaser and he will need to be on his "A" game today as he is up against Junction Fourteen and Thomas Brown who both put up top performances last time out.


Semper Invicta - 0.50 ew at 16/1 with Coral.

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