1pt win Not So Sleepy @10/1, 15:35 Ascot, Saturday

1m7½f (1m7f152y) Betfair Exchange Trophy (A Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

At the time of writing, Ascot have downgraded the going for Saturday’s card to soft, heavy in places, and I strongly suspect there will be significantly fewer than the 18 currently declared for the Betfair Exchange Trophy turning up. Ante-post favourite Harambe is a doubtful runner and a fair few of these want better ground and might not participate, so playing early might pay. I’ve persuaded myself to take an early price on NOT SO SLEEPY at 10/1. He was rated 94 on the flat, running fourth in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket in October, and fairly bolted up on his reappearance over hurdles this season. The winning margin wasn’t anything special but he took a very keen hold throughout and took his opponents out of their comfort zones, finishing well on top in the final furlong and jumping well throughout. He’s only gone up 5lb for that and is guaranteed bottom weight on Saturday, which counts for plenty on soft ground – Not So Sleepy is a course and distance winner on soft, so he certainly won’t mind conditions. I can see him going off half the price he is now. Tamaroc Du Matan and the favourite Quoi Du Neuf are the others on the short list.

1pt win Not So Sleepy @10/1, 15:35 Ascot, Saturday

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