Ballyarthur and Topofthegame among Friday tips for Ascot
David Metcalf | 16 December 2016
Ballyarthur weighted to open account at Ascot
Ballyarthur caught the eye last time out and looks to hold outstanding claims of opening his account under rules in the 2m 5f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Ascot (15.05).
The gelding was a point winner in Ireland who offered plenty to work on when runner-up on his first two start over the obstacles after joining trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Ballyarthur was allotted and opening handicap mark of 119 on the back of those efforts and shaped as if ahead of it when a fine fourth of 15 to Behind Time in a competitive class 3 contest at Cheltenham.
Cheltenham form looks strong
The six-year-old raced prominetly until taking up the running at the fourth and only got headed at the final flight before being unable to find any extra to be beaten 10 3/4 lengths.
Call To Order, who finished third, has since come out and landed a hot 12-runner handicap at the same venue in terrific style and the seventh home Chic Theatre hass also gone on to taste success.
That gives the form a strong look and this looks a weaker contest which represents an excellent opportunity for Ballyarthur to get on the scoresheet.
Topofthegame the answer to opener
Topofthegame makes his eagerly awaited debut under rules in the 2m 5f maiden hurdle that gets proceedings underway (12.45) and is strongly fancied to make it a winning one.
The four-year-old created a huge impression when winning his sole start in an Irish point at Belclare, making all before quickening clear two from home to slam No Hassle Hoff by nine lengths.
It was a most taking display and the runner-up is a smart sort who ran a blinder to finish third to Wholestone in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham when last seen in action.
Given the way in which Topofthegame disposed of that rival he looks a really exciting prospect and can take this on his first start for champion trainer Paul Nicholls en route to better things.
Lough Derg Spirit to reign Supreme
The feature race of the day is the Grade 2 Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (13.55) and Lough Derg Spirit looks a worthy favourite to land the spoils.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, the four-year-old created a huge impression when making a winning debut for the Lambourn handler at Kempton.
Lough Derg Spirit now steps up in class but is fully expected to take it in his stride and further enhance his 2017 Cheltenham Festival claims.
To find out the full reasons why check out our individual preview for the race.
Rock The Kasbah can return to winning ways
Rock The Kasbah ran better than the bare result suggests last time out and can get the better of Politologue to land the Grade 2 novices’ chase over 2m 5f (14.30).
The Philip Hobbs trained six-year-old was a smart hurdler and looked one to keep onside when making a winning debut over the larger obstacles on return to action at Chepstow.
Rock The Kasban found plenty when challenged to score by a cosy two lengths and although beaten 17 lengths into third behind O O Seven at Cheltenham last month he stayed on strongly after getting outpaced at a crucial stage and faced a stiff task trying to give 8lb to the winner.
The fourth home Theinval has also come out and won since to give the form a boost and another plus is that Rock The Kasbah is 1-1 at this venue.
Ascot tips December 16th
12.45: Topofthegame (NB)
13.55: Lough Derg Spirit
14.30: Rock The Kasbah
15.05: Ballyarthur (NAP)
15.40: Boreham Bill