The pick of the prices in the bet365 Handicap Chase....

Last Updated: 20.01.2017

20th January 2017

Good afternoon, friends,

In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….

  • The pick of the prices….
  • Opposing the hype at Haydock…. 

The pick of the prices….

My target this week is the bet365 Handicap Chase at Ascot tomorrow afternoon (3.35)….

The meeting is in a little doubt. The frost covers are on but temperatures are expected to freeze overnight and the track must pass an inspection tomorrow morning at 6.30 am.

If they do go ahead, only 8 runners go to post for this one. But I think the outsider but one, DARK FLAME, is an interesting betting proposition at this afternoon’s general 10s.

Richard Rowe’s 8-year-old has only appeared twice to date over fences under rules. So, he’s relatively inexperienced. But he does have point-to-point experience to call on and both performances to date this term were very decent efforts and his mark of just 135 suggests he could have a fair bit of slack in hand.

Last time out at Ascot he produced a solid effort to finish 3rd in a 15-runner handicap chase. He was giving weight away, he saw money on the day and – whilst he couldn’t justify favouritism – he did bump into a very well handicapped horse in Poker School who has subsequently won again and is now rated a stone better.

The form of that Ascot race is working out well generally. The horse Dark Flame beat into 4th has also won subsequently and is now rated 143 over fences. Plenty of other participants have come out of that race and run with credit.

Dark Flame is stepping up in trip again tomorrow. Only a furlong or so – but it will see him to better effect. The bottom line is that I think he’s on a nice mark and well-weighted.

He’s progressive and in a decent vein of form. He’s up against more established horses, but he can outrun his price.

To recap….

In the bet365 Handicap Chase at Ascot tomorrow (3.35)….

  • DARK FLAME @ 10s (Generally) 

The place terms of 1/5 1-2-3 don’t appeal to me. I might think again if a firm goes up 1/4 1-2-3. But as it stands, I’ll be betting win only. But don’t let me put you off chasing the place money if that’s the way you want to play. Your call.

Opposing the hype at Haydock….

Potential Gold Cup contender, Alary, is grabbing all the column inches ahead of his British debut in tomorrow’s Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock (3.15)….

But I reckon he’s got plenty on his plate first-time-up over British fences off an official mark of 162 (the official handicapper is taking no chances)….

There are several contenders in at short quotes. My preference is for a soft-ground specialist at an attractive double-figure price….

You can get immediate access to my selection for the Peter Marsh by simply taking a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….

Pick up my Peter Marsh selection here….

That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra