Another fabulous Saturday of Horse Racing with feature meetings at Haydock and Ascot. Find out what we fancy to be first past the post….
This looks a high class renewal despite only 5 runners. Clan Des Obeaux remains unexposed and whilst clearly talented, has a fair bit to find on ratings. Further progress is likely and ground is going to suit and he could give the favourite most to do as he is likely to arrive late on the premises. With a strong early pace guaranteed with Bristol De Mai and Native River, as well as Might Bite and Thistlecrack, four horses who like to race with the pace.
Bristol De Mai has a fantastic record around Haydock but he hasn’t beaten a field this strong before, but this is his time of the year but my main question mark about him is the ground. Native River is one of my favourite horses in training for quite some time but this better ground and flatter track may not play to his strengths. He is a terrific horse and Gold Cup winner he has to have a chance. Thistlecrack has question marks to answer obviously but I think he could run a big race, he’s a very tempting price at double figures and he is a fascinating contender. With all this considered, I think the favourite MIGHT BITE is the most likely winner. This flatter track and better ground make him the one to beat. His form last season was truly exceptional and conditions favour him the most today, he’s the one to beat and despite being a touch short in the betting, he’ll do for me.
Very tough assignment for Emma Lavelle’s extremely talented 6 year old, off a mark of 147 and top weight in such a tough handicap. He looked very good at Aintree though and his bumper and hurdles form continues to be boosted. A 7lb rise seems fair and I think he is a legitimate Stayers Hurdle contender at Cheltenham in March and at the price he represents very sound each-way claims if the race doesn’t fall apart too much. I expect another big run and more improvement to come.
The selection has work to do to reverse form with the favourite If The Cap Fits based on their seasonal re-appearance run at Wincanton and has 7 lengths to find. But I fancy Nicky Henderson’s supremely talented 4 year old to do just that, upped in trip. It was his first loss last time out, but he ran a corker from the front and his hurdling was very slick for a Juvenile and there is much more to come. He had an epic tussle with Harry Fry’s runner before fading close home but he will have needed the run.
The same could be said for the named horse but I think We Have A Dream under a more tactical ride from Barry Geraghty will continue the upward curve and reverse the form. Two fantastic prospects in the Hurdling ranks and will be a race to savour.
I am attracted to this selection in this race as I feel connections think it’s very winnable. He has a great record fresh and I think he is the value in the betting. This is based on ratings and has the most scope for progress. He could easily have been entered in The Troytown at Navan on Sunday but I think it’s a clue that connections run him here. Providing he’s fit and his record fresh is good, then I think he could be the one to beat.
Recent all-weather scorers CONTRIVE (11.45) and ROSS RAITH ROVER (3.40) seem to have more than fair rises for their recent successes and could go close again at Lingfield. I backed STONEY MOUNTAIN when beating an odds-on favourite on his hurdling debut and the selection looks very useful and one to follow. I would expect it will take a very good horse to beat him but my concern is Richard Johnson isn’t aboard who used all of his champion jockey skill to upset Aye Aye Charlie last time. He should go very close and make it 2 from 2.