Ascot Tips: Building a case for The Carpenter

 | November 24 | 

3 mins read

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There are six meetings taking place in Britain and Ireland on Friday, with jumps and flat action on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The feature card is the always-indicative Ascot card on the eve of their big Saturday meeting. The track will host seven races from 12:15-15:45.

We've picked out a trio to follow at the Berkshire venue, including an exciting recruit to steeplechasing on their debut over the larger obstacles for Nicky Henderson.

Ascot Tips

  • 12:50 - The Carpenter @ 6/4
  • 14:00 - Your Darling @ 5/2
  • 15:10 - Manofthepeople @ 4/1

12:50 - The Carpenter @ 6/4

The Nicky Henderson-trained The Carpenter is the only chasing debutant in this four-runner field but his potential takes him past his rivals in a race won 12 months ago by the smart Thunder Rock.

Samarrive tried chasing last year but it was aborted after he trailed in last of three at Kempton at around this time. Monviel was laboured on his own chasing debut in a small-field race at Newton Abbot and Supreme Gift jumped poorly at Ludlow.

The Carpenter, meanwhile, is a notably unexposed sort with a pedigree that makes you think he will take to fences. His sire's best horse to date is the doughty Your Own Story, while his dam is a half-sister to classy Irish staying chaser Kemboy.

It stands to reason that distances beyond this 2m3f trip will ultimately suit The Carpenter best, although he had no problem with trips around 2m4f last season. He won all three of his hurdles starts, the last one in a handicap at Uttoxeter in May in which he was sent off odds-on. That speaks to how well regarded he is for a powerful yard and he is hard to resist here.

14:00 - Your Darling @ 5/2

This race looks no stronger than last year, when Your Darling beat 12 rivals including Revels Hill and Flegmatik, who would go on to place in top handicaps as the season wore on.

Your Darling could hardly have been more impressive 12 months ago so a 5lb rise in the weights should not be too troublesome. He would have won that stronger running with another half a stone on his back.

The key to Your Darling is seemingly catching him fresh. Whenever he has looked his best, he has been coming off a break. He has also tended to run best at right-handed tracks, such at Huntingdon, Kempton and Ascot.

Fire Dancer boasts a similar profile to the selection. He is lightly-raced and ran his best race last season when fresh. But he does not have the course expertise of Your Darling, whose trainer Ben Pauling has recorded winners in recent days following a somewhat lean spell earlier in the month.

15:10 - Manofthepeople @ 4/1

The ground is drying at Ascot, which is good news for horses against whom the ground turned soft a little too early this winter. Among them would be the Fergal O'Brien-trained Manofthepeople, who has been pulled out on 'unsuitable' soft or heavy ground three times in the last 12 months, most recently at Cheltenham last Saturday.

Last month, Manofthepeople had made an encouraging return to action when second at Exeter to a race-fit rival. Last season he had made an extremely promising start over fences and was aimed at the Scottish Grand National. He went off at single-figure odds at Ayr, jumped four out in the lead but failed to get home.

It all amounts to a horse with clear potential above his current BHA mark of 132. He is not an obvious sort for the cheekpieces he wears here, although he was declared in them at Cheltenham too so this is no throwaway attempt to perk him up. Should the ground dry up enough for him, Manofthepeople will take plenty of stopping.

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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