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Saturday Racing - BetFair Ascot Chase

The 15:35 BetFair Ascot Chase is undoubtedly the highlight of Saturday's card, as well as of Channel Four's broadcasting of the day's racing. We've looked through the runners and riders to pick out our favourite bets.

The two favourites are the two horses with the strongest history, but both have question marks against their name. Silviniaco Conti has taken two King George wins, but that sort of form has escaped him of late. He was pulled up when chasing his third King George victory, and has been absent since going under the surgeon's knife for both skin issues and his soft palate. If he can now reproduce his previous best form, indeed if he can reproduce even just his previous good form, then he has a strong claim on this one. We're still a little wary though - he hasn't been seen since Christmas, and the drop in trip and addition of first time blinkers may all be factors.

If you still want to back him the best place we've seen is ToteSport, at a decent 3/1.

Close behind Conti in the bookies' listings is Dynaste, who is also running in first time blinkers. Much like Conti, Dynaste is a superb horse at his best, but has only shown glimpses of that ability in recent races. To increase the parallels even further, he has also been under the knife, reportedly for a wind operation.

His current form is the big question mark here, but a return to this trip for the first time since winning the 2014 RyanAir Chase might be a plus. He also has the advantage from a punter's point of view that he is priced slightly longer, and the best place we've found to back him is StanJames, who are offering a market leading 9/2.

Finally, we've got a longer odds pick for you. Of the remaining six runners, the one who stands out the most is Flemenstar.

He may not have the stellar history of his better known opponents, but importantly he comes into this race in better form than either, and this return to a longer distance after some time over shorter may be perfectly time to take advantage of this resurgence in his running.

He may never be as good as he could have been before injury, but with a Grade 1 win and a Grade 2 second in his last two starts he wouldn't need to pull out much more to be a contender here. He's well worth backing each way, and we would even tip him for the win. The best place to pick him up is at Ladbrokes, at a very reasonable 7/1.

Saturday Racing - Newbury

We've looked at the Betfair Hurdle in another post, but the rest of Saturday's action at Newbury still contains plenty of interest. We've looked through the card to pick out some of the best bets for you.

The 14:25 is a curious race, in that all the strongest horses running in it are coming in on the back of some decidedly shoddy form. Favourite Rocky Creek is arguably still the pick of the bunch along with Ballynagour. Both horses have been inconsistent in recent races, and in our eyes it's hard to choose between them. The trip and conditions might suit Rocky Creek a little better, but when Ballynagour is at his peak he is likely better than Rocky Creek on a good day.

It's a tough choice, and when we can't choose for any other reason we pick the horse with the longer odds. In this case that's Ballynagour, and the best place to back him is at PaddyPower, at a market leading 11/4.

Later in the day in the 16:45, Ballyandy and Full Irish meet again in a race where the former is the comfortable favourite.

Ballyandy held Full Irish at Ascot, and the bookies don't seem to think there's much chance of that form being reversed here. Full Irish made a winning debut at Sandown though, and soft ground doesn't sseem to be an issue. We think this one will be closer than the bookies believe, and the best place to back Full Irish is also at PaddyPower, whose price of 11/1 is again by some distance better than any other offer we've found on the market.

Finally, having tipped Ballynagour above we are turning to another Scudamore ride for another longer odds bet. Running earlier in the day, Batavir takes part in the 13:50 and it does not look like being an especially competitive race.

That said, Batavir has show glimpses of form in the past, and removing the cheekpieces might see an improvement over the last time out. Prior to that he was third in a fixed brush contest at Haydock, and if he can pull out that form again he should be a contender here. We're not convinced he's an out and out winner, but he makes a tempting each way bet at 15/2 over at StanJames.

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