Ascot races tips, racecard, declarations and preview for the Long Walk Hurdle meeting live on ITV and Racing TV this Saturday
There are several cracking races to enjoy at the Berkshire track, including the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle.
Race 1 – 12.40pm Foundation Developments Novices' Handicap Hurdle
A wide open race to kick things off, and one in which BALLYART shades the vote.
He went down narrowly in a decent race at Chepstow last time out and he goes handicapping off a good opening mark.
Top-weight Newtide is the main danger following his decisive win at Hereford, while Almost Gold, Annie Mc and Potters Hedger are also in the mix.
VERDICT – 1. Ballyart 2. Newtide 3. Almost Gold
Race 2 – 1.15pm Sebastian's Action Trust Graduation Chase
ACTIVIAL was a shade fortunate to win at Haydock last month, with his nearest pursuer coming down at the last.
He was miles clear of the remainder, though, and remains the one to beat in this small field.
Dolos has loads of ability but is hard to win with, so a bigger threat may emerge from Kildisart.
VERDICT – 1. Activial 2. Dolos 3. Kildisart
Race 3 – 1.50pm My Pension Expert Handicap Chase
Take a chance on HELL'S KITCHEN for the in-form Harry Fry.
He's flopped on his return at Aintree but is undoubtedly well-handicapped on the form of his convincing Kempton victory last season.
Janika rattled up three straight wins in France before joining his top yard, so he is feared most ahead of Magic Saint.
VERDICT – 1. Hell's Kitchen 2. Janika 3. Magic Saint
Race 4 – 2.25pm JLT Hurdle (Registered As The Long Walk Hurdle) (Grade 1)
Several of these have a point to prove, so the value could lie with AGRAPART.
Nick Williams' seven-year-old is a proven stayer and will love the soft underfoot conditions.
He was staying on strongly and not far behind Unowhatimeanharry over 2m4f at Aintree in November, and his yard has a cracking record in this race.
Unowhatimeanharry returned to winning ways at Newbury but doesn't look the force of old.
Call Me Lord was progressing well at the end of last season but is taking a big step up in trip, so Sam Spinner could chase the selection home with a reappearance run under his belt.
VERDICT – 1. Agrapart 2. Sam Spinner 3. Unowhatimeanharry
Race 5 – Garrard Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed)
The classy GOLD PRESENT won this race last year off 5lb lower, and he can defend his crown.
He shaped with plenty of promise behind Politologue on his return to action and should strip fitter for that run.
Thomas Patrick flopped badly in the Ladbrokes Trophy but would pose a serious threat if back to his best.
Benatar and Otago Trail are also closely considered.
VERDICT – 1. Gold Present 2. Thomas Patrick 3. Benatar
Race 6 – 3.35pm Betfair Exchange Trophy (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3)
A brilliant race can go the way of Alan King's progressive mare LISP.
She was a ready winner at Fontwell two starts ago and ran a career-best when a close second in the Gerry Fielden at Newbury.
She is clearly on an upward curve and will get a strong gallop to aim at here.
Western Ryder ran really well to take third in the International Hurdle last weekend and holds rock-solid claims.
Fiesole is one to note in the betting for last year's winning yard, while Fidux impressed on his last visit to this track.
Favourite Jolly's Cracked It returned with an easy win last month but a 9lb rise demands more.
VERDICT – 1. Lisp 2. Western Ryder 3. Fiesole
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