Ascot Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Ascot, Saturday 17th February 2018
Mid to late February each year sees Ascot play host to the high class Ascot Chase. In the build up to the race we will be highlighting the best odds and offers around and providing our betting tips on the outcome.
The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching. Connections are making their final preparations and Ascot plays host to a high class staying chase of its own. First run at the track in 1995, this 2m5f contest is a relative newcomer to the Grade 1 scene. It has, however, quickly established itself in the racing calendar. With total prize money in excess of £150,000 this is a much coveted prize.
Ascot Chase Betting Tips
- Tip to win: Waiting Patiently at odds of 5/2 with Coral
- Each way tip: Speredek at odds of 25/1 with Race Bets
Ascot Chase Betting Offers
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Ascot Chase Tips and Race Preview
Horse racing can often be a calculating sport. Owners, trainers and punter alike try to take an objective look at things but it’s not all head over heart. Some horses manage to win over the hearts of the racing public and Cue Card is very much among that number.
Cue Card has the fighting spirit and personality that racing fans love. He’s recovered from setbacks to win races at the top level and his story is a compelling one. He was bought for a modest sum relative to many of the big name horses he’s competed against and people love an underdog.
12 months ago, Cue Card delighted the crowd at Ascot by winning the Betfair Ascot Chase for the second time. The 12-year-old is back for another crack at the two mile, five furlong chase in what could be his final appearance in a Grade 1.
Cue Card Sure to Find One or Two Too Strong
There is no doubt that a Cue Card win on Saturday would be one of the most popular results of the National Hunt season. Unfortunately, the aging star looks almost certain to find a couple of the others too good on the day.
The Tizzard team are hopeful of one more big day from Cue Card but the bookies make him a relative outsider at general odds of 9/1. That makes him just the fourth favourite from the seven set to go to post. Of the three above him in the betting, Top Notch is currently getting the most support at 2/1 with BetVictor but it’s Waiting Patiently who offers the most appeal at 5/2 with Coral. If you fancy that, check out the £20 Coral free bet.
The seven-year-old began as a decent hurdler before Malcolm Jefferson took him on and immediately sent him chasing. That proved to be an excellent decision as Waiting Patiently has won each of his five races over fences. The Ascot Chase clearly represents a massive step up from the sort of novices and listed races he’s been winning but the timing looks perfect for Waiting Patiently.
Ruth Jefferson (who looks after Waiting Patiently now following the passing of her father) and the travelling stable staff have some work to do to ensure he is comfortable on his first appearance at Ascot. Providing everything goes well en route, Waiting Patiently can get the job done ahead of a likely appearance in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
Speredek Capable of Springing a Surprise
Traffic Fluide (66/1 with Paddy Power) is the only horse in the Ascot Chase betting who is available at longer odds than Speredek. That tells you that the bookies are not particularly worried about the seven-year-old but they could be making a costly mistake.
Like Waiting Patiently, Speredek has taken well to chasing after initially being tested over hurdles. His first start over the bigger obstacles brought a win at Sandown before he finished second to Un De Sceaux in a Grade 1 last time out. True, that wasn’t the most competitive Grade 1 of all time but you can’t put a price on jumping experience.
Can Speredek improve even further to win the Ascot Chase? It’s unlikely but a place is very much doable for him at huge odds of 25/1 with RaceBets.
- 2017 – Cue Card – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2016 – Silviniaco Conti – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2015 – Balder Succes – jockey Wayne Hutchinson, trainer Alan King
- 2014 – Captain Chris – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2013 – Cue Card – jockey Joe Tizzard, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2012 – Riverside Theatre – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2011 – Riverside Theatre – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2010 – Monet’s Garden – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Richards
- 2009 – Voy Por Ustedes – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
- 2008 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Monet’s Garden – jockey Tony Dobbin, trainer Nicky Richards
- 2006 – Our Vic – jockey Timmy Murphy, trainer Martin Pipe
Ascot Chase History
Since its inaugural running in 1995, when known as The Comet Chase, this contest has been held at the Berkshire venue of Ascot in all bar two years. During the redevelopment of Ascot in 2005 and 2006 the race was transferred to Lingfield Park but switched back to Ascot in 2007. The distance over which this race has been run has also varied a little over this period. Initially a 2m 3 1/2f event, it was increased to its present trip in 2008 and has remained unchanged since. There are now 17 stiff fences to be negotiated around Ascot’s galloping right handed track. That places a dual emphasis on jumping ability and stamina.
Looking at the list of previous winners here it quickly becomes apparent that it takes a pretty high class performer to come out on top. King George VI winners, Cue Card, One Man and Teeton Mill in addition to Champion Chaser’s Martha’s Son and Voy Por Ustedes have all been successful in this race. Undoubtedly the greatest winner of all though was the mighty five time King George winner and dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, Kauto Star. The Paul Nicholls trained legend took the prize in 2008.
The race is open to all chasers aged five years and older. However it has not yet been won by one so youthful, the six-year-old Strong Promise being the youngest ever victor in 1997. The elder statesman among yesterday’s heroes here is the popular grey Monet’s Garden who took the honours for the second time in 2010 at the age of 12.
In general it seems that experience counts for a lot. 21 of the first 25 winners have been aged 8 or over, with many already having a big prize under their belt. Look for an established Grade 1 performer to stamp their class on proceedings.
15 time champion Martin Pipe heads the trainers list here. His four wins between the years of 2002 and 2006 putting him ahead of the pack. Nicky Henderson is hot on his heels though with three wins. Two of Henderson’s triumphs came courtesy of the only back to back winner of the race to date, Riverside Theatre who took the honours in 2011 and 2012.
Those two wins for Riverside Theatre were enough to catapult Irishman Barry Geraghty to the top of the jockeys list. He sits on three wins in the race having also been aboard Monet’s Garden in 2010.