Ascot preview: Cloonacool can cash-in on class drop
David Metcalf | November 20, 2015
Cloonacool can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the 2m handicap hurdle on today’s card at Ascot (15.50).
The Stuart Edmunds trained gelding showed progressive form throughout last season when winning three times, and looked better than ever on seasonal reappearance when landing a Listed class 1 handicap hurdle at Market Rasen by two lengths off a mark of 132.
Cloonacool backed that up with a solid fifth of 11 to Nabucco in a class 1 contest over course and distance when last seen in action, shaping far better than the result suggests.
The six-year-old was making good headway from the rear when a mistake three outing stopped him in his tracks, and in the circumstances the son of Beneficial did well to rally and get so close at the finish.
It was an effort which suggested Cloonacool’s current mark of 136 was not beyond him and, with soft ground holding no fears, he looks the one to beat now dropped down a grade into class 2 company.
Take a punt on Tenor Nivernais
In the 2m 5f handicap chase (14.40), Tenor Nivernais looks weighted to provide in-form trainer Venetia Williams with another winner.
The gelding scored first time up last season when staying on strongly to beat King Edmund by a short-head off a mark of 132 in a class 3 contest at Kempton.
Tenor Nivernais was then far from disgraced when fifth of 13 to Splash Of Ginge in a class 1 contest at Cheltenham off 135, and backed that up with a fair fourth of 12 in a class 2 contest over course and distance off the same rating.
The eight-year-old’s form then tailed off, but as a result he is now able to make his seasonal reapperance in this class 3 contest off his last winning mark of 132.
It gives Tenor Nivernais major claims from a handicapping perspective and, although this is his first run for 230 days, he has proven form when fresh.
Williams also has a healthy strike rate of just over 20 per cent with horses returning from an absence of over 150 days, and everything points to a huge run.
13.00: What’s The Scoop
13.30: Thomas Brown
14.05: Kilcrea Vale
14.40: Tenor Nivernais (NB)
15.50: Cloonacool (NAP)
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