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I've got no one else to blame than myself for putting up a David Maxwell horse, he is a decent enough amateur, but he's a horrible watch when he's in the saddle. With a top jockey on board, that horse wins, but I'm not going to fire shots at David because he does a lot for the game and he is entitled to ride his own horses, but I think I won't be touching him again unless it's an amateurs' only race.
Ascot 12:45 – Rebel Intentions 9/1 (0.5pt EW, Bet365)
I was hoping for 6/1 – 7/1 or more for Rebel Intentions, so the fact I can get 9s is more than enough for me to have an EW wager on the Emma Lavelle trained horse.
If Magic Seven can prove he runs well outside of Hereford, he is the one to beat, but I thought that Rebel Intentions has been overlooked slightly and from the bottom of the weights he can be a big danger to the classier horses towards the head of the weights. I think it's clear as day that the Wind op from back in April has worked miracles for this horse, he has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st and 3rd from his four runs this season, and I think you can ignore his first run after the op as it can take a run for a horse to get used to their new wind. This horse seems to enjoy his time at Ascot with a 1st and 3rd to his new name so far this season at this track, and I think that level of form is enough for him to hold his own in this lineup.
He beat Ed Keeper back at the start of November. That horse franked the form massively by hosing up in a Class 2 20k race at Newbury, the others in behind haven't raced since but the front two pulled 9.5L clear, which is always a positive sign. Off a 7lb higher mark, which was effectively the same mark as a 7lb claimer was on board, he ran well on his first attempt over 3m since the wind op, the winner was making his debut for the Harry Derham stable, who seem to improve horses from the move to their stable. The runner-up was on a two-winning streak, so the form looks solid enough with the fourth being 10L behind Rebel Intentions.
Joe Anderson is back on board, which is a positive and I think the slight drop in trip to 2m 5f on soft ground is another positive as I didn't think his stamina held up as strong as some of the others last time out.
Ascot 3:05 – Djelo 2/1 (2pt, PaddyPower)
We all know that Venetia's horses improve shed loads when they transition to fences, so it wasn't a great surprise to see Djelo do the same and with him being 2/2 over fences now and has been impressive on both runs, this Grade 2 looks like a nice place to go.
This is a decent Grade 2, with a second-season chaser in Unexpected Party lining up and the smart Might I and unexposed Kandoo Kid turning up, it should be a great race. I just thought that way that Djelo has gone about his races, he looked the most likeliest winner, especially now he's up in trip. He beat Master Chewy on chase debut who had previously won by 12L on chase debut and since the defeat to Djelo he has finished 2nd in a decent race at Newbury. That performance looked like a horse who would appreciate going up in trip as he did his best work in the final half furlong when he was running down the eventual runner-up, and I think the same can be said on Djelo's 2nd run over fences as well. He cruised through the race at Newbury to beat Persian Time by 5.5L, but he was pulling away at the finish, so the extra 3f today on a stiff track can bring out further improvement for a horse who jumps very well.
Touching on the others in the race… Unexpected Party is a decent horse, but he showed his limitations last time out when he was beaten heavily by unexposed novice chasers, he is definitely more of a handicapper, and carrying a penalty makes this mission impossible. Kandoo Kid probably wouldn't have won if Frero Banbou didn't smash through the final fence at Newbury, but he stayed on strongly, so he has to be respected. Might I is a horse who simply doesn't like to win, he bumped into some nice horses over his hurdles career, like Jonbon and Constitution Hill, but other than the walkover ‘win' he had last time out, he is 1 from 9 over obstacles and I think he is vulnerable, especially considering his debut over fences wasn't the cleanest of jumping performances.
Ascot - 12:45 pm
9/1 @ Bet365
Ascot - 3:05 pm