STAR ASCENDING (2.45) should be capable of bagging a pretty awful 1m 3f handicap at Southwell.
The five-year-old is a Fibresand regular and had more than two lengths to spare over yesterday’s winner Lean On Pete on his last visit 18 days ago. He is up 5lb but Rossa Ryan’s 7lb claim comes in very handy.
TOPAMICHI (3.20) is another horse to like this track and he had Good Time Ahead back in third when they filled the places behind Throckley (winner since). Mick Appleby won this race last year and Topamichi, a Nottingham scorer last month, appears at the top of his game at present.
Swift Cedar won here last December and should be sharper for a recent outing when fifth to Good Time Ahead. He was trying to give the winner 20lb and ran as if needing the outing, arriving on the scene with a winning chance before running out of gas. I’m a bit surprised to see Fran Berry jump ship to ride David Evans’s other runner Sonnetist.
At Ascot, CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN (1.55) can continue Nicky Henderson’s hot streak in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial.
The gelding finished third to Fayonagh in last season’s Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and comfortably landed the odds on his hurdles debut at Newbury in early November from subsequent scorer Lostintranslation.
ARCTIC VODKA (12.30) could be a winter warmer at a big each-way price in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle.
He was an excellent runner-up to Donna’s Delight (runs 1.40) in the Carlisle mud and Donna’s Delight ran very well behind Coole Hall and Senor Lombardy in a better event at Newcastle.
Arctic Vodka ran third to well-backed Irish raider Victoria Says here on heavy ground and doesn’t look harshly treated on his handicap debut, with Finian O’Toole taking off 5lb. He looks too big a price in last night’s tissue.
- Southwell 2.45 – Star Ascending (6-4, bet365)
- Southwell 3.20 – Topamichi (5-4, bet365)
- Ascot 1.55 – Claimantakinforgan (13-8, general)
- Ayr 12.30 – Arctic Vodka ew (16-1, Paddy Power)