Ascot Bet365 Chase Preview: Acting Lass to handle step up in class
Acting Lass – 5-2 with Skybet, Paddy Power and Coral
The highlight on Saturday’s card at Ascot is the Grade 1 Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at 3.35pm but with bookmakers quoting only two places and going 12-1 bar 4-6 favourite Un De Sceaux and chief market rival Brain Power ( generally 11-4 ) the 2m 1f contest makes no appeal whatsoever from a betting perspective although the race could provide plenty of clues with the Cheltenham Festival in mind.
The preceding 2m 5f bet365 Handicap Chase at 3.00pm however has attracted a respectable entry of 12 possibles and provides the hat-trick seeking Acting Lass with a great opportunity to build on his two victories over the bigger obstacles against a potential field of decent handicap chasers. The son of King’s Theatre ran just the three times over hurdles, recording an easy victory at Hereford on his debut prior to a couple of creditable efforts behind Finian’s Oscar and Beyond Conceit at the former course and Ascot respectively.
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The seven-year-old was always likely to prove better suited to fences however and the Harry Fry-trained gelding could not have got off to a better start, winning both outings at Market Rasen and Leicester with plenty in hand. A mark of 141 by the handicapper is pure guesswork on his part and it would be no surprise should that turn out to be a serious underestimation come the end of the season.
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With Forest des Aigles more likely to run at Haydock on the same afternoon and Tenor Nivernais, Shantou Flyer and Master Dee possibly in the grip of the handicapper Guitar Pete ( 7-1 William Hill ), fortunate winner of Cheltenham’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup last time, recent dual scorer Robinshill ( 6-1 Paddy Power and Boylesports ) and Emma Lavelle’s lightly-weighted Fortunate George ( 14-1 Skybet and William Hill ) can chase the selection home.