Sodexo Chase

Saturday November 4th Ascot 3.45: 3m Chase. Going Soft with approx 9mm of rain due before racing

Most Saturday handicaps are fascinating in some way. This one poses questions on ground suitability, left/right preference and, the main unknown – the true merit of the unexposed runners:

Mucho Mas
Yeah Man

Victorrino has run just once in the UK and that was over hurdles. He finished unplaced having lost a shoe. But he came from France to join Venetia Williams and needs respect simply because of that. She’s not one to over-face horses and it could be a significant choice of race for his UK chasing debut (won twice over fences in France logging Racing Post Ratings just either side of 120 (Two For Gold’s highest Racing Post Rating is 164).

Mucho Mas has halved in price these last couple of days. He’s had 12 races in all, four of them chases; he won 2 and was 2nd in the others. His ratings for those chases – 119 129 130 134 – show he’s improving, but bear in mind what kind of improvement he has to find compared with Two For Gold at 164 (that was in 2022, but TFG ran to 160 last April). And he is just 6/1 in the betting to TFG’s 10/1.

Yeah Man has run to only 124 at best. Because he is with Irish based trainer G Cromwell, who’s in fine form and who returned last week from Cheltenham with 11221 from his five Cheltenham runners. Doubtless he will run to a figure in excess of 124 tomorrow, but he’s around the same price as Two For Gold at 10/1.

Of the fancied horses Beauport took a heavy fall last time out, which might have left a mental mark. He tends to make mistakes, though has had only 5 chases, so there’s time to iron them out. Still, in those 5 chases, his ratings have been steady: 144 144 144 and just 123 last time he completed the course. It’s unusual not to see some improvement in a young chaser. He’s only 7/2 when 7/1 would be more appropriate.

6/1 chance Eldorado Allen is 9 now. But he too has run to 164. He’s done so twice in the spring of last year, though one was over 2m4f; the other was just short of 3m. In his 4 runs this year he’s failed to make the first three. His best rating so far for 2023 is 158. His profile suggests he is on the way down, and at the price I would not bet on a resurgence. I think too there’s a possibility he is prone to mistakes going this way round.

The only other runner at the front of the market is a different kettle of high value fish, for I can find no flaws in him. Monbeg Genius is just 7 with only 5 chases behind him, yet he has already run to 152 and that on soft ground. He’s a sound jumper, is improving: 134 142 145 152 and should have a fair bit more to come. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a future Gold Cup. And in all 8 races under rules he has never been out of the first four, this stat an important one given the superb value EW prices on offer. He is 5/1 to 3 places, 9/2 to 4 and 4/1 to 5. As the purpose of these essays is to make a profit in the long term, the best bet is 4/1 to 5 places. If he wins, it’s nice boost to the overall pot; if he makes the first 5 the loss will do little damage over the months ahead. At 11/2 I’ll also back him to win as I would have him no bigger than 5/2.

I also recommend an each way bet on Two For Gold who has a good record here (top two ratings are at Ascot). He’s getting on a bit, but I’ll be surprised if he is not in the first 5, and you can have about 8/1 (35/4) for that.

Recommended bets:

Monbeg Genius – 1pt win only at 11/2 and 3pts EW to 5 places at 4/1.
Two For Gold – 1pt EW to 5 places at 35/4.

Prices available with Bet365. At the top of the race, click EW extra to se these prices.

As ever, the biggest tip I can give you is don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.

Good luck

The After Race Inquiry

Hmm, Monbeg Genius chose this day for his first ever mistake and his first time out of the first four. He was still traveling well enough coming to 5 out to have a chance of winning, and he’d have been long odds on for a place. But in the last few strides before take off he got sandwiched and unsighted, forcing him onto a bad blunder; he was pulled up shortly afterwards. I wouldn’t lose an ounce of faith in him. He’ll pick up a big handicap this season.

Some recompense was gained through good old Two For Gold finishing second.

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