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Keith Melrose
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Horse racing tips: Moore star Authorised for Ascot success

It is day one of Ascot's big pre-Christmas meeting, with Grade 2 action featuring on the six-race card. Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides his three best bets.

Keith Melrose's tips

1.55 Ascot - Authorised Speed @ 3/1
2.30 Ascot - Bad @ 3/1
3.05 Ascot - Djelo @ 13/8

1.55 Ascot - Authorised Speed @ 3/1

There are four promising novice chasers in the field for this strong novices' handicap, which has been won by the likes of Brave Seasca and Greaneteen in recent years.

I can see a strong case for siding with the only chasing debutant in the field. AUTHORISED SPEED was a promising novice hurdler last season, who won three of his five starts and was beaten only in Grade 1s. 

Gary Moore has a tendency to run his best novice chasers at Ascot. He started Goshen's aborted chasing career here, and more happily he also ran Editeur Du Gite in this race back in 2020.

Authorised Speed saved his best last season for stiff, right-handed tracks, principally at Sandown. Ascot therefore should suit and he deserves to be seen as a serious threat. He would be favourite if this were a hurdles race from his BHA mark of 133, which looks lenient. While there is no guarantee he will bring across that form, he is priced up as though it is unlikely - whereas I see no reason why it ought to be.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Authorised Speed @ 3/1 - 1pt win

2.30 Ascot - Bad @ 3/1

Since arriving in Ben Pauling's yard, BAD has never had a day off at least when it comes to his days on the track. He started off at the Cheltenham Festival, when he was a significant gamble in the Boodles. He then ran at Ascot, in a race won by Blueking D'Oroux who recently won a Grade 2 here.

This season he has been placed in good handicaps, and then in a strong Premier handicap at Newbury three weeks ago. 

All the while, he has brought his form forward slowly. Another step forward is likely to be needed to win this, but it is unquestionably a weaker race than the ones he has contested so far for current connections. He is also adept at the track, which is always a help here as the stiff finish catches out plenty. He deserves plenty of respect.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Bad @ 3/1 - 1pt win

3.05 Ascot - Djelo @ 13/8

The Noel Novices' Chase has been won by some really classy types, like Simonsig, Politologue and Pic D'Orhy. It is doubted that there is anything quite on their level in this year's running, but all four who will face the starter are smart prospects.

I toyed with the outsider of the lot, Unexpected Party, who technically has the best form in the book and whose finest hour over hurdles came at Ascot. In the end, the lure of Venetia Williams' unstoppable form this season proved too strong and I will side with DJELO.

This horse boasts some very strong handicap form. He beat Master Chewy at Aintree, after that horse had made such a good impression the time before. He then beat Persian Time (who runs in the 1.55) handsomely off a mark of 135 at Newbury last time. That well entitles him to a shot in this Grade 2 event. 

Djelo is the only one of these who is stepping up in trip. There is little doubt he will cope with the distance. He was hardly stopping at the finish at Newbury, while Williams also trains his half-brother who is a staying hurdler. Djelo is a rightful favourite in this field.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Djelo @ 13/8 - 1pt win

Keith Melrose's tips

1.55 Ascot - Authorised Speed @ 2/1
2.30 Ascot - Bad @ 2/1
3.05 Ascot - Djelo @ 6/4

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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