Ascot Silver Cup – Race Preview
Saturday sees the annual running of the Ascot Silver Cup at the Berkshire track. A listed handicap chase, the Silver Cup is run over three miles and with 14 runners set to go to post, this year’s renewal looks ultra competitive.
Pendra is the current ante-post favourite and comes into Saturday’s race on the back of victory in a Grade 3 chase at Ascot at the end of October. Trained by Charlie Logsdon, Pendra is highly thought off at home but has so far failed to live up to that expectation on the track and against some decent horses on Saturday, he may well again find one or two too good.
Last years winner, the Neil Mulholland trained The Young Master, is the current ante-post second favourite and he comes into the race on the back of two runs already this season. Racking up a four-timer last season including victory in this race, The Young Master then finished down the field in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham. This season has seen The Young Master finish second behind Saphir Du Rheu at Carlisle before unseating his jockey at the first fence in last month’s Hennessy Gold Cup. A return to the form of last season could well see The Young Master go close on Saturday.
Fingal Bay endured an interrupted season last year, managing only two racecourse appearances but he looks to be on his way back, following two placed efforts behind the smart Smad Place this season, including fourth in last month’s Hennessy at Newbury. Trained by Phillip Hobbs, Fingal Bay is coming down the weights and he could run well, in what appears to be a wide open race.
Paul Nicholls saddles Salubrious who is on the comeback trail having missed over a year with an injury setback. Two wins from two starts over fences for the eight-year old, who in theory could be a star chaser in the making or could be nothing special. Saturday’s race will give connections a far better idea of his ability, as he encounters his most competitive race yet.
Houblon Des Obeaux won the race in 2013 and connections will be hoping that a return to Ascot will spark some life back into the horse who has been disappointing since his 2013 victory. Contested at a high level last season, including in the Denman Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Houblon Des Obeaux could well run a big race on Saturday, back in a lower grade at a course he enjoys.
Nicky Henderson will be represented by the seven-year old Ma Filleule who despite her young age has a confidence over fences that belies her age. Two runs over hurdles this season will have Ma Filleule fighting fit but it may take a drop in the handicap before she can be competitive over the larger obstacles again.
Pendra is the current 5.5 (9/2) ante-post favourite with The Young Master available at 6.5 (11/2). Fingal Bay and Salubrious are both 7 (6/1), Houblon Des Obeaux 11 (10/1) and Ma Filleule 13 (12/1). The horse racing tip for Saturday’s Ascot Silver Cup is Houblon Des Obeaux each-way at 11 (10/1).
By: Scott McGlynn