Happy Diva 9/2 to improve on last year’s third in Ascot’s Bet365 Handicap Chase

Diva bids to make supporters Happy at Ascot

Horse Racing Betting

There is a Grade 1, a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 race at Ascot this Saturday but the most competitive contest on the card is the Bet365 Handicap Chase, which features the day’s biggest field of 11 runners.

Diva looking to make supporters Happy again

The mare HAPPY DIVA rarely fails to answer everything asked of her by regular pilot Richard Patrick.

Kerry Lee has placed her to win five times over fences and she landed the Grade 3 BetVictor Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November with a typical gutsy performance. She got outpaced close home by the equally smart Lady Buttons at Doncaster subsequently but that was hardly a backward step and the nine year-old may well improve on last year’s third in the Bet365 Handicap Chase behind the brilliant Cyrname at a general 9/2.

ESPOIR DE GUYE is upwardly mobile and so is another French-bred DOMAINE DE L’ISLE. That pair are 4/1 and 11/2 respectively with the race sponsors with another previous Ascot winner KIDISART at a general 8/1.

Bet365 Handicap Chase Current Best Odds*

Espoir De Guye 4/1
Happy Diva 9/2

Domaine De L’Isle 11/2
Sam’s Adventure 13/2

Kildisart 8/1
Allysson Monterg 9/1

Bennys King 10/1
Flying Angel 16/1

Kayf Adventure 22/1
Red Indian 25/1

Aintree My Dream 33/1
(*Odds correct at 5.30pm 17 January)

Horse Racing Betting at Bet365

Un De Sceaux looks to avenge Sandown defeat

DEFI DU SEUIL and UN DE SCEAUX fought out a tremendous finish to the Tingle Creek at Sandown last month.

The former prevailed by a neck but the placing may well be reversed in the Matchbook Clarence House Stakes at Ascot, which is a less demanding course.

Un De Sceaux won the Clarence House in 2018 and, though now 12, retains all of his ability. Willie Mullins clearly isn’t worried about renewing rivalry with his much younger rivals and the discrepancy in the betting isn’t justified. The Mullins’ veteran is a general 11/8 as opposed to a best 10/11 for Defi Du Seuil.

French import looks ready to strike for Nicholls yard

The Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle looks a tough race to decipher but there is one engaged which has untapped potential.

PIC D’ORHY was a top-class performer in his native France. He’s had just one run so far in the UK, finishing unplaced in last year’s Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, and he fell on his seasonal reappearance at Auteuil.

However, there is a good chance that the handicapper has let the five-year-old in lightly in this contest. He runs in the de la Hay colours made famous by Cyrname and is following a well-trodden path of French imports who have thrived under the care of Paul Nicholls. A best 10/3, he can see off some useful handicappers.

BALLYMOY won the race last year and is only 2lb higher so is worth checking out at the 7/1 available with Bet365. BOLD PLAN is 4/1 with the same bookmakers but his Haydock victory hasn’t worked out, though he will have his favourite ground.

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