Ascot Wednesday Betting Preview

By Conor PhillipsGrand National Free Bet

The Free Raceday at Ascot will go ahead on Wednesday in what will be the eye-opener for the Flat season.

The event which is principally for people wishing to learn about horse racing, should be a thrilling meeting, featuring some high quality within the 6 races, representing very good value for betting.

Richard Hughes will be hoping to continue his fantastic start to the season, which includes 35 wins at a strike rate of 29%, in his bid to win back-to-back jockey championships for the first time.

Hughes rides Steps To Freedom in the Longines Sagaro Stakes, which is one of the most important trial races for the Gold Cup and on Hughes’ form he has to be a valuable contender. He will have to improve on some good performances to win this though, as Estimate, who is expected to lead the betting looks the one to beat in a highly competitive race. Sir Graham Wade looks a good staying prospect and John Gosden’s Caucus comes here on the back of a very stylish win at Newmarket in September.

Both Battersea Dogs & Cats races are listed heats, which may well provide some useful information for Royal Ascot. The first is the Paradise Stakes at 15.00 which is sure to be a competitive event, although the market is usually a good indication, with all recent winners being short odds. Stipulate is expected to go into the race as favourite, with Sovereign Debt and Fencing two prominent contenders. Pastoral Player could prove to be the biggest threat on the back of a good second at Doncaster, whilst also symbolising some value.

The Pavilion Stakes at 16.35 is sure to be a wide open contest providing some good value. The ever-improving Zanetto warrants respect and conditions are likely to suit, but Ninjago could be a fine bet at good value under Richard Hughes, following back-to-back wins last year. Snow King and Ahern are two more who add great depth to a tricky betting contest.

The Aldermore Conditions Stakes will open the meeting at 14.00 with a small field of just 5 runners. Far Gaze has it all to do against four impressive, winning colts and Justice Day and Anticipated are likely to battle it out as favourites. Master Carpenter is sure to cause them problems following an impressive win at Leicester and Montaigne could improve on his win at Kempton but will probably need more to challenge.

William Buick will be hoping that Chat can progress on her 6f win in June to challenge for the Active Navigation E.B.F. Stakes for fillies. Chat faces Typhoon Lily, who has to prove her effectiveness on turf but should improve, however Cruck Realta should also feature prominently. Following her entry for the Coronation Stakes, it seems as though Chat is well regarded and may have enough to win this.

In the final race of the day, Kieren Fallon and Rockalong will be hoping for a repeat performance of their victory at Kempton, where they won easily after being well-supported. Twenty One Choice and Toga Tiger are both on prolific form but are expected to find this harder, although either could cause an upset, but the value is with Rockalong who will take some beating here despite a 5lb rise.


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