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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Haydock, Ascot & Gowran Park

Haydock

Double Daily Rewards With Betfair Graduation Chase 1.50
Bravemansgame (nap)
His debut over fences was eagerly anticipated, and an easy nap to be given in this column. He did not disappoint, storming away over 5 lengths clear of Fusil Raffles, who went on to win the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. Just about one of the most exciting recruits to chasing this season, and should be well in against his more experienced rival Itchy Feet with a 4lb pull. Hard to oppose to continue progress on a track to suit

Betfair Chase (Grade 1) 3.00
Bristol De Mai (nb)
He seems to have been around forever, having started his chase career when barely out of his teens, but Bristol De Mai knows his way around here on his usual start to the season better than any other chaser. Remarkably, he’s only once lost here in six starts, and is a three time winner of this race. There’s a stack of quality opposition this time around, with Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up, A Plus Tard and Paul Nicholls’ Next Destination another top class rival, but horses for courses is as good a tactic as any, so the grey gets the nod

My Odds Boost On Betfair Handicap Chase 3.35
Strictlyadancer
Given here last Saturday at the Cheltenham Autumn Festival, and duly obliging, it may well be that Christian Williams has a really progressive handicapper in his Ogmore Farm yard. He’s been around this track in this grade before, finishing fourth of eleven, so if fully recovered from last week’s run around Prestbury Park, can make the most of this mark. He may not yet be in the grip of the handicapper, and Jack Tudor’s 3lb claim only adds to the appeal

Ascot

Ebony Horse Club Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase 12.55
Ask A Honey Bee
A decent enough hurdler who should have plenty more to come in this sphere, and this looks a good opportunity to get off the mark over fences, in a small field with only one serious rival, Jeremy Pass. Fergal O’Brien has his string in fine fettle, as does Paul Nicholls who runs Jeremy Pass, and there’ll be early season honours at stake between them

Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase (Grade 2) 2.05
Dashel Drasher
Horses for courses once more, as Jeremy Scott’s stable star looks to protect his unbeaten record at the Berkshire track. A winner of his last three starts around here, there’s plenty to like about his attitude and he’s the one to beat, despite the attentions of some pretty useful rivals in Master Tommytucker, Lostintranslation and Defi Du Seuil

Coral Hurdle (Grade 2) 2.40
Goshen
The chance is taken on Gary Moore’s Goshen, who looked a runaway winner of the Triumph Hurdle two seasons ago at the Cheltenham Festival only to crash out at the last, hitting the final piece of timber with too much pace and leaving a disconsolate Jamie Moore in despair on the course, while the remainder of the field played catch-up. At this year’s Festival, the steering on left-handed tracks was clearly amiss, so he returns to Ascot, where he’s won before, on something of a retrieval mission. Enigmatic, but brilliant on his day – we’ll take the chance!

Gowran Park

Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase 12.00
Bob Olinger
Henry de Bromhead’s Ballymore winner from the Cheltenham Festival makes an eagerly anticipated start to his chasing career. He won three of his four starts last term and that included the scalp of another fine looking novice chaser, Bravemansgame, in the Ballymore. He’s an exciting prospect from one of last season’s best trainers, respected

Ashgrove Stables Handicap Chase 1.03
Fan De Blues
Willie Mullins seems to have worked his magic once more on Fan De Blues, whose usual rival, Gin On Lime, doesn’t line up this time against him. The pair are one apiece this year, but Fan de Blues has shown a huge chunk of improvement from earlier this year. He’s got top weight, but there’s good reason for that, and he’s the one to beat

The Mandarin

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