Ascot Betting Tips for February 16

Betting.org experts give their Ascot betting tips for February 16, featuring three best bets for a top class nine-race featuring the rearranged Betfair Hurdle. Waiting Patiently is our NAP to retain his crown in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase run over 2m 5f. Top Ville Ben has won both his starts this season in impressive fashion and is therefore the next best bet to complete the hat-trick in the 3m Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase. Air Horse One, meanwhile, has become nicely treated and runs the track well, so makes plenty of each-way appeal in the 2m handicap hurdle that gets proceedings underway. Find out more about these horses in our in-depth preview with Ascot betting tips for February 16 below.

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Odds
7/4
NAP
Waiting Patiently
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Betvictor logo
Odds
11/4
NB
Top Ville Ben
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Paddy Power logo
Odds
7/1
E/W
Air Horse One
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Waiting Patiently the answer to Ascot Chase

Waiting Patiently lost his unbeaten record last time out in unfortunate circumstances, but looks worth a wager to resume winning ways and gain compensation in a cracking renewal of the Grade 1 Ascot Chase over 2m 5f at the Berkshire venue on Saturday (15:55). That run came in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day where the Ruth Jefferson trained eight-year-old was still travelling strongly and yet to be asked any sort of a question when badly hampered and unseating his rider at the ninth.

Prior to that, the son of Flemensfirth was a perfect six from six over the larger obstacles. After winning his first two chase starts at Sedgefield and Newcastle, Waiting Patiently took the step up into Grade 2 company when cosily beating Politologue by 1 1/4 lengths at Haydock. He has nothing to fear from that re-opposing rival whom he now meets on the same terms.

Waiting Patiently subsequently had just three starts last season, landing an intermediate chase at Carlisle and Listed 2m 4f contest at Kempton in impressive fashion by eight lengths. Connections then pitched him into Grade 1 company and he enjoyed his finest hour when landing this 12 months ago.

Course and distance winner that is top rated

After being held-up as per the norm, he closed to go second three out and regular pilot Brian Hughes then decided to take a pull and delay his challenge until approaching the last. Despite then making mistake at the final fence, Waiting Patiently quickly recovered and stayed on strongly to beat Cue Card. by 2 3/4 lengths.

The third home Frodon, who was beaten a further 15 lengths, is a high class sort who has won three of his four outings this season to be rated 169. Top Notch, who came fourth, is also a top class chaser who has won twice since – so the form looks very strong.

An official rating of 170 also makes Waiting Patiently the highest in the line-up that puts him 2lb and upward clear of his five rivals. So, in a race in which the trailblazing Cyrname looks sure to make it a searching gallop, this looks set up for a close like Waiting Patiently to swoop late. Thus he is taken to retain his crown and rates our standout bet on the card.

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Ben worth backing to come out on Top again

Top Ville Ben has taken his form to a new level this season since being sent over the larger obstacles, so looks worth siding with to take the step up into Grade 2 company in his stride and land the spoils in the 3m Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase. Trained by Phil Kirby, this seven-year-old has won both his starts over fences in runaway style.

After making all to beat smart hurdler Donna’s Diamond by 13 lengths at Hexham, the son of Beneficial could not have been more impressive when romping to a 42-length success over Red Rising in a five-runner affair at Wetherby. Top Ville Ben again made all and punt in some spectacular leaps to draw further and further clear from the third last.

He won doing cartwheels and it was a very taking display – especially as he was also giving the well-regarded runner-up 6lb. Judged on the manner of that victory, Top Ville Ben needs keeping firmly onside and should be more than capable of winning races at this level.

His handler has also been in fine form this season and this doesn’t not look a strong renewal of the Reynoldstown. Other pluses are that Top Ville Ben has a 75 per cent strike rate over the trip (three wins from four starts) and proven winning form on the forecast ground. His bold jumping and attacking run-style are also ideal attributes for this track.

It’s very hard to pick any holes in the profile of the progressive Top Ville Ben, so that’s why he is taken to land the hat-trick and rates our next best bet in these Ascot betting tips for February 16.

Air Horse One appeals each-way

In the 2m 3f handicap hurdle that gets proceedings underway (13:00), Air Horse One appeals each-way given that he runs the track well and has slipped to a handy mark. This Harry Fry trained eight-year-old has won once and been placed once in two starts over course and distance, and enjoyed a terrific time in 2017 when scoring three times.

The last of those successes came in this contest where he beat Divine Spear by 1 1/2 lengths off a rating of 132. Air Horse One went on to run a cracker when a 2 1/2 lengths fourth of 25 to Arctic Fire in ultra-competitive County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival off 140 and also posted some solid efforts in defeat last season.

They included when a 2 1/4 lengths second of 13 to Jenkins over course and distance off 147, and when third to Old Guard in the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell off an official rating of 150. Air Horse One is now able to race off a mark of 140 and that gives hin major claims from a handicapping perspective.

He also comes into the race having signalled a return to form last time out when runner-up at Taunton and has the services of Kieron Edgar in the saddle, who takes off another 5lb with his claim. Taking it into account, the son of Mountain High is undoubtedly weighted to go well if building on his latest effort. The return to this venue also has to be a plus, hence Air Horse One features as the each-way punt and completes these Ascot betting tips for February 16.

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