IT FEELS like the National Hunt season takes a real step up this weekend and we’ve also got some cracking action at Ascot to get stuck into.
The 1965 Chase (1:30pm) looks a belter and sees Shishkin and Pic D’Orhy, the first two home 12 months ago, do battle again.
Much has been written about Harry Cobden riding at Ascot as opposed to Bravemansgame at Haydock, and Pic D’Orhy is surely one of the main reasons behind the decision for him to head to the Berkshire track.
He was very impressive when winning last season’s Melling Chase at Aintree, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him give Shishkin a real race.
However, it’s too close a contest to call and the following Coral Hurdle (2.05pm) looks better for a bet.
Goshen won this race last year, but the ground is drying all the time and he’s much happier when the mud is flying.
He’s never one you can fully trust and ran pretty terribly in the Cesarewitch last time, so I’ll be taking him on.
The one I like is THEATRE GLORY, who can continue the flying form of the Nicky Henderson yard.
Henderson usually starts the season slowly, but over the past couple of weeks he has been firing in winners left, right and centre.
He looks to have a good chance of continuing the purple patch as conditions seem like they will be perfect for his challenger.
Theatre Glory loves good ground, so the dry forecast for the rest of the week is in her favour, while she has a fine record fresh having won three times after a break.
She gets nine pounds from Goshen and that should be enough to tilt the tables in her favour at 3/1.
Theatre Glory 2.05pm Ascot