Lightly-run Activial an obvious bet

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PLUNGE horse Activial is the obvious port of call at around 4-1 for tomorrow’s The Ladbroke at Ascot (3.30pm).

Harry Fry’s exciting four-year-old has been smashed up in the betting from 12-1 to a third of those odds and many will feel the value has vanished.

But on the flip side the sheer money for this horse means he is obviously very well fancied and it’s easy to see why.

Activial has had just four runs and looked a potential top notcher when winning the Grade Two Adonis Hurdle at Kempton back in February.

He was then upped to a Grade One at Aintree and could finish only eighth of 15 but that was no disgrace on only his fourth start and Activial remains a horse of much potential.

He certainly could be some way better than a handicapper and – judging by the amount of money for him – connections evidently feel a mark of 137 is exploitable.

The still lightly-raced Balgarry is also much respected for David Pipe – as is the race fit Shelford for in-form Dan Skelton – but the money for Activial is impossible to ignore and he’s the day’s main fancy along with Zarkandar in the Long Walk Hurdle (2.25pm).

This small-field affair doesn’t look a vintage renewal by any stretch and it’s tempting to side with the improving Aubusson at 9s under Lizzie Kelly.

But the Paul Nicholls-trained Zarkandar is the class horse of the race and should justify odds of around 5-4 under Sam Twiston-Davies.

Best of luck with your bets!