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Horse Racing: Graeme Rodway's Ascot betting tips

The first of two fantastic days of racing action gets underway at Ascot on Friday. Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets at the Berkshire venue.

What Ascot November Racing Weekend, Day One
WhereAscot Racecourse, Berkshire 
When 12.20-3.50, Friday 18th November, 2022
How to watchSky Sports Racing or bet365's Sports Live Streaming

Janika @ SP

2.05 Ascot

1pt each-way

Larry @ SP

2.40 Ascot

1pt each-way

Onemorefortheroad @ SP

3.15 Ascot

1pt win

Janika might be best caught fresh

The Royal Ascot Racing Club Handicap Chase (2.05) is a cracking race and it might be worth taking a chance on Janika returning to form following wind surgery and new headgear.

He hasn't stood much racing in recent years, but has a good record when fresh and his peak Racing Post Rating of 167 came on his seasonal reappearance at Exeter three seasons ago.

Janika is racing off a mark of just 141 now, so it's evident that he is well handicapped on his best form, and Nicky Henderson is good at getting horses like him back to form after a break.

Janika was last seen finishing seventh of 29 in the Topham at Aintree, when he appeared to be rejuvenated by the Grand National fences, and that showed he still retains his old ability.

Henderson now tries the combination of a first-time cheekpieces and tongue strap, and Janika ran one of his best races at this course in 2018, when he finished a close second over 2m3f.

In a recent Racing Post stable tour, Henderson said that Janika was "quite forward and ready to go when the ground eases". This might just be the day to catch him after 224 days off.

Larry looks a likely lad

The Not Forgotten Handicap Chase (2.40) features some old favourites and I was tempted by course specialist Regal Encore. However, he is 14 now and usually runs well fresh, so it was disappointing he was tailed off on his reappearance. It is well worth backing Larry instead.

The Gary Moore-trained runner shows most of his best form first time up or after a break. His highest RPR came following 59 days off at Newbury in 2019 and he was running a big race on his return at Fakenham 12 months ago when almost being carried out and unseating his rider.

He put that behind him when landing the London Gold Cup over course and distance on his next outing and returns to this venue racing off the same mark as when landing that success.

His last run over course and distance was a solid one in February and he could bounce back from a disappointing run at Cheltenham in March now back here following another layoff.

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Onemorefortheroad can progress again

The Garden For All Seasons Handicap Hurdle (3.15) looks like a good opportunity for Onemorefortheroad to take another step forward and gain a deserved sixth hurdle win.

Onemorefortheroad is only 2lb higher than when landing an intermediate event at Newbury last season and he was second in a hot race over course and distance on his next outing. That came off a mark 1lb higher than this and he did remarkably well to finish so close that day.

He likes to front run, but got shuffled back to the rear and had to work his way back into contention from a difficult position. He still held every chance at the last but fell away late.

Onemorefortheroad ran creditably in the Imperial Cup and Scottish Champion Hurdle on his next two starts and should come on for his reappearance fourth at Aintree last month. He probably needed the run and is 1lb lower, running in a weaker race than he usually contests.

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