Top Notch to enhance Cheltenham Festival claims with Ascot Chase win

Saturday 17th February - 3:35pm Ascot - Betfair Ascot Chase

Cue Card will attempt to win his third Ascot Chase on Saturday afternoon, but the Colin Tizzard-trained veteran will face some classy improving chasers in the Grade 1 showpiece at the Berkshire venue, with both Top Notch and Waiting Patiently aiming to enhance their Cheltenham Festival claims with victory in this race.

  • Top Notch and Waiting Patiently have both won their last two races
  • Cue Card bids for a hat-trick in this race
  • Three of the last four winners have been aged 10 or above

Saturday 17th February - 3.35pm OddsWon/LostBet
Betfair Ascot Chase    
Tips Top Notch to win    Best Bet @ 2 / 1  

Favourites

Having won the 1965 Chase at Ascot two starts ago, Top Notch then cruised to victory in the Peterborough Chase at Taunton in December, and the Nicky Henderson-trained raider will be aiming to land a hat-trick of wins in this contest, and he has been installed as the 2/1 favourite with William Hill bookmakers for the win.

Second in the JLT Novices' Chase at last season's Cheltenham Festival, the seven-year-old has blossomed over the larger obstacles this campaign and is currently second favourite for next month's Ryanair Chase, and if he can build on his two wins this season then he could just have too much class for his rivals.

Waiting Patiently is another progressive chaser, and is on a fine six-race winning streak, but while he won a Listed event with aplomb last time out, he is yet to take his chance at the highest level, and he could prove vulnerable to some better quality rivals, and at 5/2 with William Hill is worth taking on.

Coney Island is the other fancied contender at the head of the betting at 3/1 with Betfair Sportsbook, and he was an eye-catching nine-length winner of a Graduation Chase last time out, but this is a whole lot tougher, and he could find it tough to down Top Notch, who can launch to Ryanair Chase favouritism with a win here.

Cue Card To Struggle?

12-year-old Cue Card would raise the roof at Ascot on Saturday if he could clinch a third Ascot Chase, a race he won in 2013 and 2017, but the 9/1 chance with Betfred has just failed to find his best form this season, and while Paddy Brennan will return to the saddle, it's hard to see him being able to live with the up-and-comers.

A faller in the Charlie Hall Chase in his comeback run, Cue Card was then a distant second to Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, and while the drop back to 2m 5f 8y will play to his strengths, he could be just hitting the twilight of his career, and lacks that significant zest for the big occasion, and it's hard to see him being a factor.

Frodon Best Of The Rest

Paul Nicholls has won this race with the likes of Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti, but the DItcheat handler will look to Frodon in Saturday's renewal, who lines up on the back of a fine handicap win at Cheltenham last month, but this is a huge step up in grade, and the 10/1 chance with Betfair Sportsbook will find it tough, along with Speredek (28/1) and Traffic Fluide (66/1), who complete the line-up.

2018 Betfair Ascot Chase Odds

Posted: Friday, 16th February 2018
Author: Steve Chambo

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