Domaine De L'Isle looks the real deal for valuable Ascot chase

Domaine De L'isle: winner of last two races over fences
Domaine De L'isle: winner of last two races over fencesCredit: John Grossick (

Given that the bet365 Handicap Chase at Ascot is so laden with leading form lines from prime Saturday races, it would not be intuitive to single out one from Newcastle on the day most had their eyes on the Tolworth Hurdle card at Sandown.

Visual impressions of winner Domaine De L'Isle were very strong in that race and the figures, obtained from Total Performance Data, not only back up those impressions, but extend them.

3.00 Ascot card

Domaine De L'Isle was so impressive that day that it is fair to say the runner-up, Sam's Adventure, remains of ultra interest going forward.

Sam's Adventure was nearly 15 lengths faster than par for the last mile of the race. Domaine De L'Isle was quicker than par by nearly 23 lengths. Across the last half-mile, he consistently went between three and four lengths per furlong faster than par.

All that tells us in isolation is that the race was slowly-run early, which we will return to. It is the performance of third-placed Capard King that shows just how interesting the first two are.

He had won by 12 lengths over the same course and distance on his previous run and, until he was eased close home that day, had run the race of a horse still firmly in form.

He dictated, but was only eight lengths off ideal fractions a mile out. Over the next six furlongs he made up that ground, plus an extra five lengths for good measure. He was still just in touch at the time, but could do no more. He was beaten 23 lengths in the end.

The way the first two pulled away is the real illustration of how seriously they need to be taken, even now they have been raised 10lb and 2lb respectively in the weights.

The fact that this race is more than two furlongs shorter is also of little concern. If they can pick up like they did at Newcastle, it is highly likely they are quick enough for 2m5f at Ascot.

All data courtesy of Total Performance Data, whose tracking covers more than 20 courses in the UK and North America