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  • Last Updated: December 21 2012, 10:52 GMT

Ian Ogg picks out a best bet, a longshot and a horse in focus to consider ahead of today's action.

Puffin Billy: A fascinating runner at Ascot
Puffin Billy: A fascinating runner at Ascot

Bet Of The Day: Fiddlers Bid 12.45 Ascot

The former Irish point-to-pointer caught the eye on his debut under Rules when staying on into third behind two well-regarded individuals in a Cheltenham bumper.

He built on the promise of that run when making every yard at this track in testing ground so today's conditions should hold no fears for him and he's got plenty of experience between the flags which should stand him in good stead on his hurdling bow.

His up and coming trainer has proved a shrewd placer of his horses and it looks significant that he's been running his five year old at the top tracks and he looks to have been found another suitable opening.

Today's Longshot: Eastlake 1.20 Ascot

This is a pretty warm novices' handicap chase and there's little to recommend Jonjo O'Neill's charge on his recent, regressive form.

However, it's possible that the six year old will have benefited from almost two months on the sidelines after being kept on the go through the summer while he produced one of the best performances of his career on the only occasion that he has encountered soft ground.

His chase mark is 7lbs below his current hurdles rating and 11lbs below his highest ever mark so there's no doubting that he's well treated at present and he has the ability to take a hand in the finish if the break has sweetened him up.

Horses In Focus: Puffin Billy 1.55 and Simonsig 2.30 Ascot

Both horses are long odds-on for today's assignments but both are fascinating prospects for the future.

Oliver Sherwood's promising young hurdler tanked along throughout his hurdling debut at Newbury but still had enough in reserve to leave his rivals floundering in the closing stages.

He has his trainer dreaming of the big stage again and it's easy to see why but he'll surely have to settle better as he meets better opposition; this is the next step up the ladder.

Simonsig needs no introduction as yet another exciting prospect from Nicky Henderson's Seven Barrows yard.

An impressive winner of hurdle races at both Cheltenham and Aintree last season, he's expected to reach the very top over fences and it will be fascinating to see how he takes to the larger obstacles today.

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