2.05PM ASCOT – THE AMLIN 1965 STEEPLE CHASE
It looks a cracking renewal of this race and all six horses have their chances, but at the prices, the one for me is SOMERSBY. He is a top class chaser on his day and two and a half miles is his perfect trip in my eyes. He also has a great record going right-handed, so much is in his favour here, especially as ground conditions will not be an issue. It is worth remembering that he finished second in the Champion Chase last March and finished a good second to Master Minded in this race in 2011. He ran below form last time out, but may have needed the run and I am prepared to give him another chance and the weight he receives from Al Ferof will help.
3PM HAYDOCK – THE BETFAIR STEEPLE CHASE
SILVINIACO CONTI looked in with a great chance of winning this race last year only for his lack of a recent run to tell, as he faded into third behind Cue Card and Dynaste. He has the benefit of a run this time and also has his favoured soft ground, so a big run is expected. He has proved again and again that he is a class act, with his victories last season at both Aintree and Kempton, showing that he is the best staying chaser around. Last time out at Wetherby he jumped superbly, but just could not go with them close home and it could be that the fast ground, inadequate trip and lack of recent run combined caught him out. He is better than that and recent reports show that he is in good form and it is easy to see him bouncing back.