There is mixed jumps and Flat action on Sunday and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides his best bets on the day from Ascot and Doncaster.
Aleezdancer @ 14/1
Larry @ 2/1
Soft-ground horses are expected to come to the fore at Doncaster this weekend and many of them run in the really competitive-looking sprint handicap (3.20) on Sunday.
I have my eye on a few, but the first one to jump out is Aleezdancer, who looked like a promising sprinter without quite getting the breaks in autumn and could be worth backing to strike back on a softer surface.
After winning at Ripon in August, Aleezdancer competed in some top handicaps including the Ayr Gold Cup.
He emerged with credit either side of that run, when he was not drawn to best advantage. I backed him on all three of those starts, but what I had not appreciated at the time was his potential ground dependency.
On ground described as good to soft or soft, Aleezdancer has won four of his six races. On any other surface, he is 0-10.
This is no stronger a race than those he was competing in last autumn and I am more than willing to give Aleezdancer one more chance to show how well handicapped he is.
Returning to favoured conditions is also behind the final bet. Two of Larry's four wins over fences have come over 3m at Ascot, including a Premier handicap in 2021.
He is 10 now and nearly made a winning debut in veterans' company at Newbury last month, when he fell just short against Cyclop, who has gone in again since at the same track.
Ascot is very much Larry's track, as mentioned above, and he is only 4lb higher than when he won an open-age handicap over this course and distance in November.
His rivals do not look all that intimidating - most have either done their winning for the time being or are likely to be lined up for other prizes in the spring or summer. But you can bet Larry is ready to go for this return to Ascot.
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