December 8th, 2018

ALTIOR TO SET SPINE TINGLE ONCE MORE

CALUM LEITCH reveals the best bets throughout Saturday’s afternoon horse racing as attritional conditions look set to play apart…

National Hunt racing fans have been treated every Saturday since the return of jumps with mouthwatering cards and the good news is, is that this Saturday is no different with brilliant feature cards at Aintree and Sandown, plus other top action at Chepstow and Wetherby and as always, an interesting card at Navan.

 

AINTREE

 

A terrific card at Aintree and with tough conditions it will provide a supreme test of jumping and staying for any horses involved.

ELDORADO ALLEN has already been backed into odds-on for the opener and the form of his debut win for Colin Tizzard is working out an absolute treat with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th all considerably franking the form. He also won on heavy conditions.

Another whose form is being franked is CHEF D’EQUIPE in the 12.25. He finished 2nd behind Sirh Du Lac who won again over fences yesterday and these conditions should suit as he’s won on Heavy and the trainer is in form and he’s an each-way price. Looks solid to me.

You can never just fancy one horse for the BECHER as you need a lot of luck-in running and it’s a good race to have 2 on side, so I’ll go CROSSHUE BOY and MISSED APPROACH. The latter is a proven and dour stayer and usually the bigger the challenge the better he performs. He has terrific Cheltenham festival form and this test should be to his liking. Expect a bold show. Crosshue Boy has been ever so progressive over fences and deserves his crack at this sort of race, the handicapper isn’t relenting but the horse hasn’t stopped improving and he’s been the biggest ante-post mover for this and I think he’s an interesting candidate.

I’d be surprised if DEFINITLY RED didn’t win the Many Clouds Chase again, I fancied him at double the odds to beat Double Shuffle last time and these stiffer fences and more of a stamina test should see him even stronger. I love One For Arthur and look forward to seeing him back over fences for the first time since his fairytale Grand National success. The absence, this shorter trip might see him come up short, but great to see him back and I’ll be cheering him on.

Lastly, my best fancy of the day runs in the last, The Grand Sefton Handicap Chase, CATAMARAN DU SEUIL. He returned with a thumping success last time and this young improver should relish this jumping test for a man who does well at this track, DR RICHARD NEWLAND. The trainer is also the most successful trainer this season in terms of strike rate. He’s operating at an incredible 30% and it’s his only runner of the day at any racetrack. Infact, he’s only had 3 in the last two weeks with 2 winners (one at 14/1) That’ll more than do for me.

 

SANDOWN

 

Interested to see I CANT EXPLAIN on debut for Nicky Henderson after an impressive P2P success and looks the type he will do well with. Market vibes strong already.

LALOR looked hugely impressive winner at Cheltenham and rates a serious Arkle contender. In a race won previously by Altior and Sceau Royal he looks like he will go on to better things and soft ground should be fine given his listed success over Hurdles last season at Aintree. Dynamite Dollars looks held and he holds Highway One O One on an earlier run so the danger should be Diakali who is 3/3 over fences but the form isn’t overly strong but no substitute for winning races!

APPLES SHAKIRA might bounce back just like her sister Apples Jade has this season and defy top weight. Some decent horses against but she should be up to it if fit and back to the form of her best runs. I expect a comeback.

ALTIOR has always been completely unopposable for me since I saw his very first race. I have always been on side and he has never let me down. I’m a big fan of Sceau Royal but the ground may just scupper his best chances. I can’t see Saint Calvados beating these three, therefore the remarkable Un De Sceaux rates the biggest danger as 2miles on soft sees him to his best effect. It might even be Altior’s biggest challenge to date and although soft ground isn’t ideal, if he’s within 3 lengths coming to the last he will win I feel, which he will.

Lastly, at Sandown, I’ll give a squeak at an each-way price to MILANSBAR who rewarded each-way backers at the Grand National. With attritional conditions and a dour stayer this trip might be a bit inadequate but with tough conditions, the horse could be the one slogging it out best.

 

 

WETHERBY

 

TIME TO MOVE ON looked impressive when giving weight and a beating to the very useful BANG ON and looks the one to side with on Hurdle debut particularly with strong form in testing conditions.

MON PALOIS hugely interests at a big price as the 3rd on Chasing debut was a superb run and piece of form. The form from the top 2 has been really franked and with just one start over fences there is much more to come. Expect further improvement at decent odds.

MOVIE LEGEND has been performing well and races off the same mark when a very good 2nd last time. He won this time last year over Course and Distance and seems well-handicapped on recent form.

 

CHEPSTOW

 

THETOOJUMPA was very well backed when winning easily last time out and it will be interesting to see if market vibes are as strong now upped 10lb.

DOMINATEUR looks a good bet after giving the very smart Kateson a serious race last time and with more improvement to come given how lightly raced it will take a good thing to beat him.

Lastly, RAMSES DE TEILLEE always saves his best around here and under David Pipe should put on a bold show. He will like the conditions and now a 2nd run after Wind Surgery should benefit and be the one to beat.

 

NAVAN

 

Very interested in BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUP in the opener on debut for Willie Mullins. Has very smart bumper form and was always aimed at a very high level on the Flat for Mick Channon and remains lightly raced. Despite the unknown quantities in this race and the huge number of runners, I think he could take some beating as he is obviously very well regarded.

Be interested to see how CHRIS’S DREAM goes on Chase Debut after some strong performance over staying hurdles last season, but he may need further. DE NAME ESCAPES ME looks very well handicapped on his hurdles form is transferring to the bigger obstacles also.

 

BEST BET : CATAMARAN DU SEUIL  e/w 3.15 Aintree

NEXT BEST: MON PALOIS 1.40 WETHERBY