15:00 Ascot - Sodexo Clarence House Chase
The brilliant Un De Sceaux is back in action today and it is a cracking looking race. He fell last time out at Leopardstown in a race that he would/should/could have won very easily. However, it is a chink in his armour that he has shown before and although it isn't a frequent occurrence, it stops me from wanting to dive in on a heavily odds on shot.
Sire De Grugy the 2014 Champion Chase winner looked something back to approaching his best at Kempton over Xmas and I think he definitely has the ability to give the Mullins horse a decent race and I have a feeling they will take each other on up front when the race gets going.
Vibrato Valtat has been by both horses in the past but I am confident that today he has a chance to get much closer to them with conditions spot on and Noel Fehily back on board. He has ridden him twice and been victorious both times so I expect a positive ride today just in behind the leaders until the last couple of fences where he will try and pounce. It's a given that he has a lot to find on past performances, but with conditions perfectly in his favour and the front two in the betting taking each other on, there is a chance he can get involved. He only has eight pounds to find with Sire De Grugy on official ratings and with the main two protagonists in the betting being slightly unsure with their jumping, at the prices I think he represents a nice bit of value.
Reve De Sivola is a sound jumper and he goes back chasing today off a ridiculously low mark. He raced off a mark of 160 behind Thistlecrack in the long walk hurdle last time out so carrying 10 stone 4 pounds today will feel like he has wings. It is a wide open contest but I can't see any of the field getting near the Nick Williams horse from a mark of 139, so as long as he doesn't make a hash of any of the hurdles he should be tough to stop.
Ascot 15:00 - Vibralto Valtat - 1 point win @ 12/1 (Bet365, Betvictor)
Haydock 15:15 - Reve De Sivola - 1 point @ 7/2 (Most firms)
0.5 point double of the avove