Horse racing tips: Templegate’s NAP strongly fancied to fly home late on in rapid sprint at Ascot

TEMPLEGATE tackles a brilliant day’s racing from Ascot and Punchestown confident of finding some winners.

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WOOLHAMPTON (3.25 Ascot, nap)

Has a cracking record at the King’s course with a win and two places from her three visits. Rod Millman’s sprinter was last there in October when she was beaten less than a length in a stronger contest than this. She’s back from a 2lb lower mark over her favourite distance with some cut in the ground holding no fears. She gets on well with her 7lb claimer Oliver Searle and none of today’s opposition arrives in particularly fine fettle. She often misses the break so don’t panic as she’ll come with a late run to nick it.

SWEET WILLIAM (2.15 Ascot, nb)

He is up against the likes of Coltrane, Trueshan and Quickthorn who are all classy but also getting a bit long in the tooth even by stayer standards. The Gosdens’ relative youth at five came nicely through the ranks last season, finishing with a solid third in the Long Distance Cup. He has more to offer over these marathon trips and can take another step up.

CHORUS (4.35 Ascot, treble)

Went into my notebook as one to follow after her excellent second at Wolver in November. This Kingman filly wasn’t asked too many questions before finishing her race strongly. She may need this comeback but, if William Haggas has her wound up, she can start the year with a win.

THE GOFFER (6.00 Punchestown, Lucky 15)

Gets his ideal trip. He ran well at Cheltenham and Aintree before running out of steam and this shorter trip is perfect for Gordon Elliott’s runner.

Templegate’s verdicts


DANCING CITY can turn the tables on Stellar Story from Cheltenham on this much faster ground.

The pair met in the Albert Bartlett when the Gordon Elliott runner loved the conditions and held on well.

Dancing City was much better at Aintree when winning his second Grade 1 last time and can build on that.

Better Days Ahead was impressive when winning the Martin Pipe at the Festival and should enjoy this step up in distance.

Although he’s another who really loves the mud. Lecky Watson stays well and is another with an each-way chance.


JASMIN DE VAUX was highly impressive when winning the Champion Bumper and can pull off the double.

That was just his second run for Willie Mullins and there’s every chance he’ll take a step forward.

Romeo Coolio was a gallant second at the Festival when going through the testing ground well.

If he can repeat that in these better conditions he’ll be a threat again.

Shuttle Diplomacy caught the eye when hammering his rivals at Limerick 38 days ago. This is a much hotter race but he’s ready for a hike in class.

William Munny swerved Cheltenham with this race in mind after an easy win at Naas. He will be fresher than his main rivals which could give him an edge.


GALOPIN DES CHAMPS was better than ever when defending his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown.

He travelled so sweetly and had lots left in the tank when scoring by an extended three lengths.

He was beaten in this race 12 months ago by Fastorslow and this isn’t a penalty kick with that rival fancying his chances again.

He unseated when the pace was just picking up at Cheltenham and we’ll never know where he would have finished.

Galopin looked an improved model though and can score here.

It would be no surprise to see Hewick run a big race at tasty odds.

He was brilliant when winning the King George on his last chasing run before his modest hurdles effort at Aintree when he should have been in the National.

Gentlemansgame struggled in the Aintree Bowl but has talent and can outrun his massive odds.


THE GOFFER gets to tackle a more suitable trip here after not staying in the Ultima and Grand National on his past two outings.

His Cheltenham run was good as he travelled well before his stamina gave out up the hill.

He jumped round well at Aintree when again he ran out of juice. He’s had a welcome drop down the weights and should enjoy this challenge.

James Du Berlais ran a belter over the National fences in the Topham last time when nabbed up the run-in.

He’s up just 1lb for that excellent effort over a similar trip and will be right there again.

Bill Baxter unseated early when trying to defend his Topham crown and is another who has had some help from the handicapper.


FLEUR AU FUSIL ran well when seventh in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last time.

She had earlier picked up a Leopardstown Grade 2 with ease and has a lot more to come.

Fellow Willie Mullins runner Aurora Vega was behind her that day when pulling hard in the early stages.

She swerved Cheltenham and that freshness may help here.

Familiar Dreams made it three wins on the spin at Fairyhouse and goes from the front. She may be hard to peg back.

Templegate’s tips


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