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Ascot Horse Racing Tips for Today

The Racing Horse offers their Ascot Racecourse Template for Saturday 17 February 2024.

The going is expected to be good to soft.

Non-handicaps                  Handicaps
Hurdle 25-52	48%   +2.03    23-56    41%   +23.07
Chase  11-28	39%   -6.40    22-68    32%    +2.16
NHF    6-18	33%   +1.25    0-0		
TOTAL  42-98	43%   -3.12    45-124   36%   +25.23

TOP 5 TRAINERS at Ascot last 5 years         +/-   E
Paul Nicholls (24%) 29-166   17%    +4.74    -7%   5     
N Henderson (22%)   26-121   21%   -22.91    -1%   1  
Dan Skelton (18%)   14-104   13%   -15.09    -5%  10  
Ven William (17%)   12-49    24%   +21.75    +7%   3 
Gary Moore (16%)    10-107    9%   -41.40    -7%   3   

HOT TRAINERS 18/01/2024 to 16/02/2024        +/-   E
Olly Murphy (17%)   16-53   30%	   -2.00    +13%   1
Paul Nicholls (24%) 17-60   28%	   -1.47     +4%   5
Harry Derham (26%)   6-22   27%	   -1.00     +1%   2
Ben Pauling (14%)   11-47   23%	   -1.00     +9%   5

COLD LIST TRAINER    SAW                           E
Lucy Wadham (14%)     24    38 days                2
Kim Bailey (16%)      23    26 days                1         

TOP 5 JOCKEYS at Ascot last 5 years          +/-   R
Harry Cobden (23%)    21-109  19%   -1.74    -3%   7
N de Boinville (22%)  19-76   25%  -24.82    +3%   2  
Charlie Deutsch (14%) 15-45   33%  +41.95   +19%   4 
Harry Skelton (21%)   11-62   18%   +5.40    -3%   7
David Bass (16%)      10-42   24%  +37.25    +8%   1 

HOT JOCKEYS 18/01/2024 to 16/02/2024         +/-   R
Fergus Gregory (11%)  6-17    35%   -1.00   +24%   1
Harry Cobden (23%)   24-86    28%   +1.53    +5%   7
Alice Stevens (14%)   4-15    27%   -2.40   +13%   3
Freddie Gingell (16%) 4-16    25%   -1.00    +9%   1
Tom Cannon (15%)     11-46    24%   +0.00    +9%   4
Harry Skelton (21%)   8-35    23%   +3.50    +2%   7 
Ben Jones (14%)	     10-44    23%   +6.82    +9%   4

COLD LIST JOCKEYS   SAW                            R
Charlie Todd (10%)   24    58 days                 2
James Bowen (13%)    18    13 days                 3     
TOP 5 OWNERS at Ascot last 5 years           +/-   E
J P McManus (17%)    11-69   16%    -2.70    +0%   0
J de la Hey (20%)    10-59   17%   +30.75    -3%   1 
Steven Packham (23%)  4-14   29%    -2.65    +6%   0
McNeill & Dale (39%) 3-3   100%	  +11.00    +61%   0
Lady Blyth (25%)     3-3   100%	  +30.50    +75%   0

COURSE: Right handed, galloping. NH course reopened in 2006/7 after major redevelopment work, and improved drainage means conditions rarely get so testing as they used to. Fences appear as stiff as they've ever been, the course taking plenty of jumping. The chase course often favours those ridden prominently.

FAVOURITES: Our composite sample size is small so beware a literal translation. Furthermore, the numbers could easily be considered contradictory given the handicap favourites outperform non-handicap favourites from a level stake profit perspective!

Winning favourites at Ascot over the past 5-years show 87-222 for 39.19% (+22.11) so around +7% above the national average. One figure of particular interest is winning favourites over hurdles in both categories scoring 48-108 for 44.44% (+25.10)

TRAINERS: There are a number of contradictions regarding this template. Paul Nicholls (24%) is the top trainer at the track and makes a blind profit to level stakes of +£4.74, yet scores -7% measured against his national average.

He has 4 runners including INTHEWATERSIDE 1.15, BRAVE KINGDOM 1.50, IRISH HILL 2.25, THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE 3.00 & PHY 3.36 PIC D'ORHY.

Venetia Williams (17%) does the exact opposite to Nicholls and scores a heavy 24% at the course so +7% measured against her national average for a level stakes profit of +£21.75. She has 3 runners including BUCKSY DES EPEIRES 1.15, VICTTORINO 3.00 & L'HOMME PRESSE 3.36

Dan Skelton (18%) has 10 runners, he does not have a good thing but might nick one later in the meeting in COCO MADEMOISELLE 4.10. Hard to see any of the other 9 winning so places chances only.

JOCKEYS: If William Buick is the UK's top Flat jockey then Harry Cobden (23%) is the top NH UK jockey!

Both jockeys have the complete package. Cobden has 7 rides tomorrow and must ride a winner, his rides include INTHEWATERSIDE 1.15, BRAVE KINGDOM 1.50, RARE EDITION 2.25, THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE 3.00, PIC D'ORHY 3.36, HAVAILA 4.10 & NALA THE LIONESS 4.45.

Stop at a winner?

Harry Skelton (21%) has 7 rides also, but we cannot spot an obvious winner though COCO MADEMOISELLE 4.10 ought to finish in the placings.

OWNERS: Of the top owners at Ascot only Mrs Johnny de la Hey has a runner in PIC D'ORHY 3.36 trained by Paul Nicholls, looks booked for second.

She trains north of Edinburgh with partner Peter Scudamore MBE (eight-time champion jockey and 1,678 winners) and they have produced the most successful racing yard in the history of Scottish Jump Racing – these are not my words but those of Lucinda. With former jockey Tom & trainer Michael Scudamore joining the set-up earlier this year we anticipated a winning numbers & strike rate upturn this season but have we seen it?

2023-24:  51-348   15%	   £676,562	-106.09
2022-23:  71-398   18%	 £1,528,225	 -18.65

There are 4 measuring metrics to consider and the team are massively down on all of them. In part-mitigation, last year was a personal best and the addition of two extra Scudamore's might need another 6 months to come to fruition especially with their younger horses. The -3% strike rate remains a figure we are most concerned with, but perhaps they will have a good March. They have 2 runners including APPLE AWAY 1.50 & AHOY SENOR 3.36

TRH was taken by the comments of Lucinda after APPLE AWAY won a Beginner's Chase at Leicester, she excitedly said: This ground was heavier than she had ever handled, but she was class. We ended up running her at Haydock in a race that was probably too tough for her first time out, so we found this easier for her (Class 3). It's a great start to her chasing career. She's one of those we could have continued over hurdles with, but I think she can take us to another level over fences. Derek (Fox, jockey) was very impressed. He said she's very clever and she can go short or long. She makes her mind up a long way out, so you just meet the fences correctly with her. He was delighted because he didn't realise quite how far in front he was jumping the last.” We have taken those comments onboard and considering Pacafi Status!

By the way, Russell is 0-5 at Ascot over the past 5 years though 2-14 for 14% (+13.50) all-time.

I've had my riding career, Michael's been training on his own, Dad and Lucinda have been doing what they're doing up in Scotland. We just felt that now was a time we can all bring it together and make it one whole.

– Tom Scudamore

Pertinence & Pertaining

(P Nicholls) trainer 24% with hurdlers 2m2f to 2m6f, and 24% in mid-season, Harry Cobden rides.
PHAMPTONOFTHEPOINTS (D Pipe) useful form in bumpers, neck 2nd of 15 in Ayr maiden hurdling debut, clear of rest. Jack Tudor rides.
CASUAL OBSERVER (H Derham) shaped like a stayer in bumper, will stay 3m, Paul O'Brien rides.

(L Russell) comfortable winner on 2nd chase start, not seen to best effect having helped force a good pace when 2nd Grade 2 company at Warwick 5 weeks ago. Receives weight all round, Derek Fox rides.
BRAVE KINGDOM (P Nicholls) unbeaten in this sphere, trainer 24% in mid-season, Harry Cobden rides.

(H Derham) course winner, beaten favourite last time out, Paul O'Brien rides.
IRISH HILL (P Nicholls) C&D winner, weighted to win 128 > 125, trainer 24% in mid-season, Freddie Gingell (5) rides.
RARE EDITION (C Longsdon) last time out winner, ready for this trip, Harry Cobden rides.

(V Williams) back to back C&D winner, remains a potentially high-class young chaser, trainer has won 2 of the last 10 runnings, Charlie Deutsch rides.
REVELS HILL (H Fry) threat if fully tuned-up for this belated seasonal reappearance, check market, Jonathan Burke rides.
THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (P Nicholls) trainer 24% in mid-season, and 24% with chasers 19f and up to 3m, Harry Cobden rides.

(V Williams) ready and primed, C&D winner and OR of 170, just 10/1 for Gold Cup. Charlie Deutsch rides.
PIC D'ORHY (P Nicholls) beaten favourite last time out, Harry Cobden rides.

(D Skelton) beaten favourite last time out, Harry Skelton rides.
MT FUGI PARK (J O'Neill) £290,000 purchase, unbeaten in 3 starts, suited by 3m, trainer 15% with handicap debutants, big things expected next year. Kevin Brogan rides.
LOUP DE MAULDE (R Llewellyn) fancied to build on the promise of Huntingdon reappearance 2nd now cheekpieces go back on, Toby Wynne (3) rides.

(H Fry) beaten favourite last time out, Jonathan Burke rides.
NALA THE LIONESS (K Burke) beaten favourite last time out, long traveller 252-miles and trainer's only runner. Harry Cobden rides.
REALTA LIATH (W Greatrex) beaten favourite last time out, James Bowen rides.

The fences on the far side are quite tricky, particularly for a novice, but, if you’re on a horse that can jump them and freewheel nicely on the downhill section, it can usually win for you. Handling those obstacles smoothly saves an awful lot of energy. It’s a front-runners’ track, too, especially in small fields of novices, but it’s very difficult to win from the front in a big-field handicap. Saving ground when you can and making sure you meet the fences right are the two biggest factors to keep in mind when you’re riding Ascot.

– Mick Fitzgerald

Paul MoonThe Racing Horse