Ascot 03/04/2016 – Spencer Lea can outstay rivals
The 4.55 at Ascot on Sunday is a handicap hurdle for Conditional Jockeys’ over three miles.
Spencer Lea up 5lbs for Sandown run
There is a big field of 16 runners, nine of which failed to complete the course in their latest outing. The pick on recent form is Spencer Lea, an eight-year-old gelding by Overbury trained by Henry Oliver.
He has won two of his nine races, most recently beating Milly Baloo at Market Rasen in heavy ground in February. He was put up 6lbs for that success and ran on well to finish second to Ballycross next time at Sandown. He has been raised a further 5lbs and will be ridden by Jeremiah McGrath.
Optimistic Bias dead-heated at Aintree in October but has been a beaten favourite on both subsequent starts. Jonjo O’Neill’s gelding was only seventh at Haydock before finishing third to Delgany Demon at Southwell.
David Pipe saddles Taj Badalandabad, a six-year-old gelding by Shantou out of a mare by Mister Lord. He has won five of his ten races including a handicap at Huntingdon in January. He beat Westren Warrior by a length off an official rating of 126. He was put up 7lbs at Haydock next time but finished only fourth to Mr Moonshine.
Dolores Delightful has place claims at Ascot
Wade Harper won novice hurdles at Doncaster and Catterick before being pulled up at Sandown last month. The Boss’s Dream also pulled up last time after successive victories at Kempton and Warwick. He may have been feeling the effects of a hard race at the midlands track where he battled on gamely to beat Tambura.
Easter Day carries top weight for Paul Nicholls, an eight-year-old son of Malinas. He looked a high class chaser in the making a couple of seasons ago but appeared to lose his confidence after a fall at Cheltenham. He ran well over hurdles in November but was well beaten at Newbury next time.
Dolores Delightful is a tough and consistent mare trained by Nick Williams. She won over this trip at Ludlow last month before finishing a one-paced fourth to Sunshine Corner at Fontwell. Max Forte got off the mark at Wincanton in October and was placed at Ludlow the following month.
He may have needed the run when only fourth to Mighty Leader at Ludlow last month. Alan King’s Salmanzar was fourth to subsequent Cheltenham festival winner Unowhatimeanharry at Exeter in February. He was pulled up at Kempton next time out behind Might Bite.
Ascot Betting Tip 03/04/2016
4.55 Spencer Lea @6.0 Betfair