Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) | 2m3½f | 4yo+ | ITV4/RTV
There looked to be good days ahead with Thosedaysaregone when he charged to victory at Wetherby last weekend as the well-backed 11-10 favourite.
That performance earned him a 9lb rise in the weights and a leap in class, yet the fact his canny connections have opted to take on the challenge at Ascot means he is likely to start favourite again.
Trainer Charles Byrnes has trusted Robbie Power with the ride on Thosedaysaregone and feels there are plenty of positives for his six-year-old gelding.
“He seems in good form,” Byrnes said. “He's got a nice weight even with a 9lb rise since his Wetherby win last weekend and we've a top jockey booked.
“They are the positives and I suppose the only negative is the quick turnaround as he's done a lot of travelling in a week.”
Super six out to strike again
Six-year-olds have an excellent record in this race in the last eight years with half of the winners being that age.
As well Thosedaysaregone, handicap debutant Seddon and the progressive Ballymoy are also the same age and look to have good chances of challenging the likely market leader.
Ballymoy carries top weight for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede after taking his record to five wins from his last six races with a smart victory at Haydock last time.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “He’s been an extremely progressive horse over the last year or so and I’d like to think he could step up again on what he’s done. He’s got top weight but I don’t have too many concerns about that.”
What they say . . .
Harry Derham, assistant to Paul Nicholls, trainer of Djingle
He’s been bitterly disappointing in England so far. He didn’t look to like the fences last time, so we’re coming back hurdling with him for the rest of the season. On the balance of his form he doesn’t look the best handicapped horse in the world, but what we’d like to see is him run a nice, positive race.
Warren Greatrex, trainer of Boite
He's always been very consistent and he's come out of his last run absolutely bouncing. He's back in a handicap, he handles the conditions and the trip is fine. He's in tip-top order and he has a chance.
Nicky Richards, trainer of Better Getalong
He ran a grand race on his comeback at Haydock and I’ve been really pleased with him since. I think he’s come on a good bit for the run and I’d be pretty hopeful he could run another good race. Put it this way, I wouldn’t be going all the way down there if we didn’t think he had a good chance.
Dan Skelton, trainer of New Quay
I'd give him a chance. He won over course and distance in November, then I ran him too quickly under a penalty at Newbury later that week. He's benefited from being freshened up and he has a little each-way chance in a very competitive race.
Lucinda Russell, trainer of Kelpies Myth
He’s a very efficient hurdler. Two miles on quick ground doesn’t seem to suit him, so these conditions should be better. There’s a little question mark over whether he will stay the trip, but if he does I think he’ll surprise a good few people and run a really good race.