Ascot Expert Eye: Three horses to back on Friday December 17

Having a bet at Ascot on Friday? Our expert eye article is well worth a read first as it might just help you turn a profit.

We have three outright selections to go to war with and you can read the reasons behind them further down the page, or just click on the horse's names below to go straight to Planet Sport Bet and place your bets.

Selections:

Jetaway Joey (12.35 Ascot)

Red Rookie (13.45 Ascot)

Pic D'Orhy (14.55 Ascot)

Course characteristics

Right-handed, galloping, with stiff fences. Circuit 1m5f.

Top trainers with runners

Nicky Henderson has sent out 30 winners here over the past five seasons from 142 runners (21%), with his four runners this afternoon headed by Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite, Jonbon (14.20).

Paul Nicholls (25-163, 15%) is next in the trainers' table and his best chance from seven runners would appear to be Pic D'Orhy (14.55), one of our three picks, while he is double-handed in the closing bumper (Hugos New Horse and Henri The Second).

Top jockeys with rides

Nico de Boinville leads the way with 23 winners from 78 runners (29%) and he is here for just one ride: Nicky Henderson's Kincardine in the maiden hurdle (13.10).

Harry Cobden - 15-95, 16% - will get the leg up on five of the Nicholls runners.

12.35 Ascot - Jetaway Joey

The opening handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys has a wide open look to it with none of the 14 runners easily discounted, but the selection is on a roll and looks to have as good a chance as any.

Olly Murphy's six-year-old, who is a full brother to useful hurdler Getaway John, has gradually improved over hurdles after winning a bumper at the second time of asking, and is now chasing a hat-trick after wins at Perth in April and Uttoxeter on his seasonal return.

His winning margin at the Midlands track was a little over two lengths but he was value for much more as he idled after taking the lead three out and was only just doing enough at the finish to win comfortably.

That may prove a blessing as he has been handed an opening handicap mark of 123, which surely underestimates his true ability, and Fergus Gregory, who has already booted home 13 winners for the stable this season at a healthy strike rate of 24%, is able to claim 3lb off his back.

Paul Nicholls' Dargiannini, who wasn't beaten far at Taunton last month, and recent Wincanton winner Earth Lord look the chief threats.

13.45 Ascot - Red Rookie

The 2m novices' handicap chase run at Chepstow on November 3 has proved a goldmine for future winners and Red Rookie, who only just failed to catch all-the-way winner Witness Protection on the run-in, could be the latest to advertise the form in this 2m1f limited handicap for novices.

The third, fourth and sixth horse home, the re-opposing Brave Seasca, have all won since, while the fifth looked an unlucky loser when falling on his next start.

Their conqueror has yet to reappear but he has a big prize in him and is definitely one for your tracker.

The Emma Lavelle-trained runner-up was making his chase debut on his first start since March, so the performance needs marking up further, and the highly regarded six-year-old is another to keep on your side this season.

He can again take care of Brave Seasca, who was over 30 lengths adrift at the Welsh track but is 5lb well-in here under his penalty for winning as he liked at Warwick just eight days ago.

14.55 Ascot - Pic D'Orhy

Paul Nicholls' six-year-old is a former winner of the Betfair Hurdle, but things haven't quite gone to plan for him over fences - at least so far.

He's twice hit the deck, including in a novice here won by Chantry House when still travelling easily, and he was still at least three lengths to the good and going okay when coming to grief four out at Newbury last time out.

But he jumped brilliantly when winning at Ffos Las the time before on what was his seasonal reappearance and, clearly blessed with a big engine and with plenty of scope to improve further as he gains more experience, he's given a chance to atone this afternoon against four rivals.

Click here to view the racecard for this Grade 2 contest along with form comments for each of the five runners.

The best of these may be Faivoir, the winner of two of his three starts over fences this term, although his jumping hasn't been convincing by any means and it was several momentum-sapping errors that contributed to his defeat at Cheltenham two starts back.

Gary Moore's Fifty Ball was very disappointing when beaten 32 lengths at Newbury when last seen out and while he's capable of better, a bigger threat could come from recent Exeter winner Gladiateur Allen. 

But the selection, who has schooled well at home since under Harry Cobden, could prove to be in a different league.

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