Get Cash And Go crazy
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in The Ladbroke at Ascot on Saturday and he thinks Cash And Go is the one they all have to beat.
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The complex puzzle that is The Ladbroke might have been made a little easier by the persistent rain that has seen conditions turn heavy at Ascot this weekend.
I wouldn't want to be chancing anything that hasn't proved itself in really testing conditions before and that includes the likes of Balder Succes, Ranjaan and It's A Gimme.
One of them may well get away with it but I'd much rather have proven mudlarks on my side and with that in mind the 7/1 available about CASH AND GO looks worth taking.
Nicky Henderson has a fine record in the race and this fellow looks the pick of his four entries this year following his good effort in the Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The first and third from that race, Olofi and Cause Of Causes, have both gone up 8lb on the back of their efforts in the contest but runner-up Cash And Go was raised only 4lb and he can take advantage in Berkshire.
He travelled into the race at Prestbury Park with real purpose before not quite getting to grips with the winner late on, but with the 4lb pull to aid him it's not hard to envisage him reversing that form on Saturday.
That race is also the only one he's ever lost in soft ground or worse. He revelled in such conditions when trained in Ireland by Edward O'Grady, winning three times on soft or heavy.
A Grade One winner as a novice, there's a real feeling he could go on to much better things and I'd be surprised if a handicap mark of 145 proved to be the ceiling of his ability.
Presuming he comes on for his run at Cheltenham he's the one to beat and I'll take him to add to Henderson's and Barry Geraghty's stunning strike-rate at Ascot.
With four places to play for it's also worth backing something each-way and I considered David Pipe's Kazlian at 20/1.
He was way behind Olofi and Cash And Go at Cheltenham, his chance going after making a mistake three from home but he was going well in a prominent position prior to that.
Pipe always targets his best-handicapped horses at this race but while he's worth considering I'd rather chance RIGIDITY each-way at 25/1.
Tim Vaughan's five-year-old has been running over fences but he loves nothing more than a strongly-run two-mile hurdle and heavy ground is the icing on the cake. He loves it.
The Indian Ridge gelding is back down to a mark just 1lb higher than when he was second to Raya Star in this very race last year and he'll be making his way through tired horses at the business end.
With plenty in his favour, it's worth a bet he makes it into the first four.