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Ascot top-racing-tips (15:00): Victtorino targets course-distance hat-trick in Swinley Chase

There’s plenty in with a shout in this very competitive edition of the Swinley Chase, but the phrase ‘horse for courses’ springs to mind when trying to pick out the most likely prospect.

15:00 Ascot: Injured Jockeys Fund Swinley Handicap Chase (3 miles)

At the top the ratings is potential Grand National hopeful Threeunderthrufive, who has responded well from a summer breathing operation to land a couple of decent runner-up spots in strong company at Wincanton and Cheltenham before Christmas.

The handicappers are doing this game nine-year-old no favours, though, and while it would be unwise to discount any horse from the Paul Nicholls-Harry Cobden partnership, he might struggle to lug top weight around ahead or his more kindly-treated rivals. 

WATCH: Harry Cobden previews his seven Ascot rides on his Planet Sport Bet blog

Of those, Shan Blue and Revels Hill all have every right to fancy their chances, but it’s hard to see past Venetia Williams’ course-specialist Victtorino, who looks likely to be sent off as a justifiably well-backed favourite.

Brought over from France at the back end of 2022, Williams gave him one hurdling outing at Exeter last March before an extended summer break helped prepare him for larger obstacles.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Torn And Frayed finishes in the first 3 places, get a £5 Free Bet

He wasted no time proving that decision right, winning on season debut at this venue in November, before going on to complete a course-distance double when seeing off 10 rivals to land the Howden Silver Cup Chase the weekend before Christmas.

A drop in distance appeared to be inadequate at Cheltenham’s Festival Trials Day last time out three weeks ago, but we can expect Charlie Deutsch (16 winners from 57 rides at Ascot) to get a better run out of him now back to his preferred trip.

Suggested best bet: Victtorino in the 15:00 at Ascot


This looks a difficult race for outsiders to make an impression, but for anyone fancying a cautious each-way flutter, then it’s worth continuing the horses-for-courses theme by noting that the Gary Moore-trained Larry is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure with eight career wins, two of which were over this course and distance.

The 11-year-old also turns up in winning form after landing a minor event at Plumpton last time out 26 days ago, and while none of those successes have been against the kind of opposition he faces here, we can at least be hopeful of a clear round and a competitive run at a decent price.

Outsider punt: Larry each-way in the 15:00 at Ascot



READ MORE: Saturday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton on February 17

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