Cape can collect Charlie at Wetherby
Man On The Spot previews all of Saturday's terrestrial television action from the UK and Ireland.
Une Artiste beat Alasi by two-and-a-half lengths in this 12 months ago but this year's renewal looks a lot more competitive. Doyly Carte was progressive last season and won in this grade at Cheltenham in April but L'UNIQUE won a Grade 1 at Aintree on her final start of last season having earlier beaten Cockney Sparrow easily at that track in December. John Quinn's filly is better off at the weights now and is fit from a successful campaign on the level but may still struggle to reverse form with Alan King's classy four-year-old. Mischievous Milly and Prima Porta are best of the rest but still have a bit to find at the weights.
This looks ultra-competitive and it may be too tough for Wetherby third Temple Lord. Notarfbad and Avoca Promise are both recent winners but Fairy Rath's defeat of Conquisto at Haydock in May represents stronger form and the booking of Barry Geraghty here may be significant. King Edmond should improve on his second to Tindaro at Fontwell but Ulck Du Lin looks to be paying the price for last season's efforts. David Pipe runs three with Tom Scudamore riding the race-fit My Brother Sylvest but Kieron Edgar takes 7lb off DAN BREEN and the eight-year-old looks a value alternative. He twice ran well here over hurdles last season and is only 2lb higher than when a close second in a Grade 3 chase at Newbury 18 months ago. Lancetto may be best of the rest after a pipe-opener over hurdles at Cheltenham.
Henry De Bromhead has attempted to win this twice with SIZING EUROPE but the great two-miler has been thwarted by Kauto Star in 2010 and Quito De La Roque a year later. Whether he can last out this time is a matter of conjecture but nothing will be going better at two and a half miles and hopefully he can hang on this time. Cheltenham Gold Cup third and Betfred Bowl winner First Lieutenant had the cobwebs blown off at Punchestown last month in preparation for this. He finished a length runner-up to Kauto Stone in this last year with Quito De La Roque a further 4l back in third. The winner didn't produce anything like that kind of form in three subsequent runs but obviously likes it around here and goes best fresh. Mount Benbulben was beaten 5l by Realt More over 2m4f at Fairyhouse in March before landing an incident packed Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.
Raya Star defied a big weight to land this 12 months ago and Get Me Out Of Here has always had a touch of class and won on his reappearance last year. There must be a reason why Geraghty is riding the returning Gibb River instead of hat-trick-seeker Makari while Shotavodka and Pine Creek both boasted winning form last season and look better bets than four-year-olds Chris Pea Green, Saphir Du Rheu and Rayvin Black. SPECIALAGENT ALFIE was beaten just over two lengths by subsequent Grade 2 winner Court Minstrel at Plumpton in March but is a massive 14lb better off here. Providing a fall at Haydock later hasn't dented his confidence. Nick Gifford's seven-year-old could be the one here off a lenient-looking mark though the lightly-raced Dildar should also be winning races this season.
Tidal Bay won this last year and went on to take the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown before injury curtailed his season. Paul Nicholls' veteran won't be far away again if fully wound-up but could be up against a potential champion stayer here in AT FISHERS CROSS. Unbeaten over hurdles last season, the six-year-old won Grade 1 novice events at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and an earlier defeat of The New One now looks top-class form. Medinas may not quite be good enough at this level while Across The Bay enjoyed the run of the race when beating Trustan Times at Haydock in February. Captain Sunshine is quirky and need holding up and looks to have a bit to find at the weights along with The Knoxs.
15.20 Ascot United House Gold Cup Handicap ChaseLast year's winner Roberto Goldback has to carry a stone more this time around, though is actually only a pound higher in the ratings. But he was a long way behind Wyck Hill in a later run over track and also had a rear view of On Trend and Opening Batsman in respective runs at Sandown and Kempton. Triolo D'Alene will be popular as he was a winner in this grade last season while Bouggler won a Listed handicap at Market Rasen, though is 10lb higher now. Twirling Magnet and Al Co are others with recent winning form and Quinz could be well handicapped. Buddy Bolero and Merry King are open to further improvement this winter but so is SAME DIFFERENCE. Quite highly tried in his first season over fences, his form ties in closely with a number of these but he was still improving in the spring and could go very close here if reproducing his second to Quentin Collonges in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April.
Long Run, a former Gold Cup winner and successful in last year's King George, is undoubtedly the class act here but usually needs his first run of the season and will be plenty short enough against rivals who could exploit any lack of fitness. Unioniste is only a five-year-old but had some decent form last season, though disappointed in the RSA Chase on his final start. Harry Topper is another with plenty of scope and beat Benefficient over this trip at Newbury a year ago while Wayward Prince was second in this last year when Master Of The Hall finished last. CAPE TRIBULATION was behind Long Run when only fifth in the Gold Cup but an earlier defeat of Imperial Commander at Cheltenham was smart form and he won the Rowland Meyrick here last season under a big weight. At the likely odds, Malcom Jefferson's charge may be the value in this Grade 2.