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Graeme Rodway
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Horse racing tips: Bank on Victtorino to land another Ascot victory

The Grade 1 Ascot Chase takes centre stage at Ascot on Saturday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns to guide you through the card at the Berkshire venue.

Graeme Rodway's tips

1.50 Ascot - Kilbeg King @ 9/4
2.25 Ascot - In The Air @ 50/1
3.00 Ascot - Victtorino @ 7/2

Horse Racing

1.50 Ascot - Kilbeg King @ 9/4

The Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase (1.50) kicks off the live action on ITV and it provides a good opportunity for KILBEG KING to break his duck over fences at the fourth time of asking.

The nine-year-old has made steady progress since being switched to chasing this season, improving on his debut third at Warwick with a better effort in handicap company next time at Exeter. Both those runs came over 2m3f-2m4f, though, and he improved over 3m last time.

Kilbeg King was fitted with a combination of a tongue strap and cheekpieces on that occasion and he made a giant step forward to finish third behind proven Grade 1 performers Il Est Francais and Hermes Allen in the Kauto Star at Kempton. He was challenging for second turning for home and only paid for it late on.

The tongue strap and cheekpieces that he wore that day are retained here, he acts on soft ground, and has plenty more to offer over 3m over fences. He is fancied to go two better.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Kilbeg King @ 9/4 - 1pt win

2.25 Ascot - In The Air @ 50/1

Turn the clock back three years and Epsom trainer Adam West saddled 80-1 outsider Thibault to finish second in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle (2.25). West has since enjoyed Group 1 success on the Flat with Live In The Dream in the Nunthorpe, and that has probably played a part in him acquiring some good horses from Gary Moore’s yard, one of which is IN THE AIR.

The six-year-old didn’t take to chasing in the autumn when having three runs over fences for the Moore yard, and it’s no surprise that West switches In The Air back hurdling on his debut for the stable. It looks significant the trainer chooses this race given he went so close in 2021.

In The Air could be well handicapped because he returns to hurdles off a mark just 1lb higher than when winning a 2m3f handicap hurdle at Fontwell on his last outing over the obstacles. That was only in May last year, when he appeared to be improving, so he can’t be written off.

It also looks significant that West fits In The Air with cheekpieces. He didn’t wear them for Moore, but both of his runs in France for another stable came in the sheepskin and he was successful in that headgear at Auteuil in November 2021. This looks like In The Air’s day.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

In The Air @ 50/1 - 1pt each-way

3.00 Ascot - Victtorino @ 7/2

The 3m handicap chase (3.00) is a competitive event, but form at the track might prove the key and VICTTORINO is strongly fancied to make it three course-and-distance wins from three.

The six-year-old was impressive when landing his first success at the track on soft ground in November and had little trouble following up off a 4lb higher mark back here over Christmas.

He needs to bounce back from a disappointing run at Cheltenham last time, but that was over 2m4½f and he simply didn’t have the pace to get competitive. He was always near the back.

Victtorino remains unexposed over fences in Britain and is certain to be suited by returning to 3m at this course. He is only 4lb higher than when last successful here and is capable of returning to form, especially as the forecast rain isn’t a problem. He is a heavy ground scorer.

Graeme Rodway's tip: 

Victtorino @ 7/2 - 1pt win

Graeme Rodway's tips

1.50 Ascot - Kilbeg King @ 9/4
2.25 Ascot - In The Air @ 50/1
3.00 Ascot - Victtorino @ 7/2

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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