Two time Ascot Chase winner Riverside Theatre is set to perform again in the Grade One feature this afternoon
Nicky Henderson’s ten-year-old won the Ascot Chase in 2011 & 2012 and appeared to be back to form when taking the Peterborough Chase earlier this season. Unseating his rider early on at Kempton it is hard to tell how this classy Ryanair Chase winner would have faired that day if completing. His rival today Captain Chris should again relish the track and conditions but looks too short at odds of around Evens. With Riverside Theatre at 11/2 he looks attractive to confirm the Huntingdon form with the Hobbs horse. The most interesting runner in this quality field looks to Alan King’s grey Medermit, who is back from a long lay-off. King’s outsider has close form links to Riverside Theatre and can mix it with the best of them on his day.
In the Reynoldstown Chase (2.05) David Pipe’s talented hurdler Gevrey Chambertin will take on the well-regarded Many Clouds. Gevrey Chambertin took the valuable Fixed Brush race at Haydock in November and could be one of the stand out chasers of his generation. It is interesting to note he is pitched in at this grade for his first chase.
Pipe may have a good Saturday with the likes of Gevrey Chambertin, Un Temps Pout Tout, Heath Hunter and Our Father. Our Father is an enigma, who on his day can show true brilliance but disappoint as well. Crockford prefers the consistent Merry King who will be partnered by McCoy at Haydock in the Grand National Trial (2.55)
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Gevrey Chambertin (Ascot 2.05)
A lot can be taken from the confidence shown by connections in running this grey in his first chase at this grade. Good winner in the fixed brush at Haydock and impressive over hurdlers last season. To use the adage this Pipe horse could be absolutely anything.
Crockford’s Whisper – Tullamore Dew e/w (Ascot 2.40)
Low in the weights, this outsider has the ability to be placed in quality races including at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Gifford’s horse is quoted at 14/1 for victory today. As long as he stays in this ground expect him to be thereabouts at the finish.
Archer’s Selection – Bog Warrior (Gowran Park 2.25)
Archer would have noticed the form shown by Tony Martin’s horse last season and how he did well in the World Hurdle. Against this opposition the shrewd horseman would certainly have wanted to be up on this mount.
Crockford’s Gambles on Ascot Chase Day:
Ascot – Un Temps Pour Tout (1.30), Gevrey Chambertin (2.05), Tullamore Dew e/w (2.40), Heath Hunter (3.15), Riverside Theatre and Medermit e/w (3.50)
Haydock – Celestial Halo (2.20), Merry King e/w (2.55), Oscar Rock and Caledonia e/w (4.05), Sergeant Dick e/w (4.35) and Ninetieth Minute (5.05)
Wincanton – Advisor e/w (1.20), Molly’s A Diva e/w (1.55), Seebright e/w (2.30), Quaddick Lake e/w (3.05), Melodic Rendezvous (3.35), Tidal Dance (4.15) and Anton Chigurh (4.45)
Lingfield – Ocean Applause e/w (2.15), Three D Alexander (2.50) and Rebellious Guest (3.25)
Gowran Park – Bog Warrior (2.25) and Un De Sceaux (3.35)
(Featured Photograph – Riverside Theatre at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)