1pt win Charbel @4/1, 14:05 Ascot, Saturday

Ascot hosts a decent jumps card on Saturday and there’s a solid renewal of the Christy Chase to ponder. The favourite Politologue runs well fresh having won on his reappearance the last two years, and his Grade 1 winning exploits of last season make him the right favourite. There is no substitute for race fitness, though, and two-miles-five at Ascot will require staying power so I’m not against taking him on – and I haven’t even mentioned his hefty Grade 1 penalty.

An honourable mention goes to Gold Present, who loves good ground and won at this track last season, but he probably wants a longer trip and is another giving weight away to most of the field. Rather, it’s nearly-horse CHARBEL who looks the bet at a nice looking 4/1. He’s a bit of a dodgy jumper but has always threatened to win a big race – he came to grief when tanking through Altior’s Arkle, which was raced on decent ground.

The key to this horse has been a step up in trip as he has spent most of his career campaigning over two miles, but did nothing but stay when defeating subsequent Betvictor Gold Cup winner Baron Alco over two-miles-three-and-a-half when they met last month. He’s already had two runs and has race fitness on his side, while there’s no penalty to overcome and plenty of classy back-form in the book, so he’s got to have a chance if he jumps well.

He gets 6lb from Politologue and 3lb from Benatar, who is another that makes plenty of appeal in a nice race.

1pt win Charbel @4/1, 14:05 Ascot, Saturday

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