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Aso worth chancing off a higher mark

January 27th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Punters at Cheltenham on Saturday will have to put up with some pretty short prices in four of the races. I shall not dwell on their chances at odds-on but clearly Thistlecrack, Un De Sceaux and Unowhatimeanharry all have plenty going for them and the only warm favourite I’d be a little concerned about is Defi Du Seuil in the opener because he did not jump well at Chepstow and the form of his previous win at Sandown has not worked out well.

I seldom go with horses raised in the handicap and I think the time to catch Venetia Williams’ ASO was at Chepstow last time, when he was galloping all over the opposition until needing to be ridden hard to pass the leader and score by four lengths. He had run very well in two Cheltenham handicaps similar to Saturday’s and I think he will go very close again if avoiding silly mistakes in the closing stages. Off a 7lb higher mark he has to be an each-way selection with stable-companion Tenor Nivernais and Buywise, whose hurdles effort at Wincanton is probably cosmetic, the main dangers.

CANTLOW is another to have been raised 7lb for a tidy victory in the cross country last time. He started to lose his way for Paul Webber but Enda Bolger, as so often, has made a real man of him in this type of race and he will surely trouble the best here.

The closing handicap hurdle may repay careful study but I shall leave that until the morning and give an update on the line at 11am.

Ian Signature

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