ITV Racing Preview: Can Paisley Park overcome Thyme Hill in the Long Walk?
Odds and preview for Saturday’s racing at Ascot and Haydock
The ITV Racing cameras will be in place at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday, with the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot among the highlights of the action. We’ve cast our eye over the card ahead of it all.
13:50 Ascot Handicap Chase
14:25 Porsche Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1)
15:00 Silver Cup (Listed Handicap Chase)
15:35 Betfair Exchange Trophy (Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle)
14:05 Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle
14:40 Betfair Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase
All eyes will be on Paisley Park and Thyme Hill here. The former won two Grade 2s last season following a dominant 2018/19. However, Thyme Hill is the up and comer with a fantastic debut season, with three wins last year. Last time out Thyme Hill had the upper hand, beating Paisley Park by a narrow 1-and-half lengths at Newbury. It’ll be fascinating to see whether Paisley Park can overturn that form here.
Outside of those two, Main Fact is worthy of respect having won nine races in a row – though the step up in class may pose a problem
The Conditional impressed with a promising third in the Ladbrokes Trophy after a stellar 2019/20 – winning the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival. If last year’s form is anything to go by, we can expect an even better run on a second appearance this season.
Espoir De Guye is up 6lbs, but showed a significant improvement over the fences after a wind op last term. A winning run at Ascot last time out means he’s not one to be overlooked on this track.
Regal Encore has form in this race, winning it for a second time last year and is another not to be discounted.
Three wins in five mean there’s something of a buzz about Buzz heading into this one, with suggestions that there’s plenty more to come. Although looking the favourite here, it’s not an easy field to overcome by any means. Chief among the threats to Buzz is Benson, coming off a hattrick of wins and seeing off a field of nine at Sandfield last time out. A raise of 10lb could prove a hindrance here.
The improving Arrivederci posted an impressive win at Wetherby in October, before falling three out at Haydock last time out, but is heavily tipped to progress.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.