Aintree and Chepstow preview
Two cracking cards at Aintree and Chepstow as the pace quickens in the jumps season yet further.
Garde La Victoire (14.00) won at this meeting last year and did little wrong as a novice other than be slightly disappointing in the Supreme and can make a winning handicap debut. Cheltenham Festival winner Hawk High and Katgary are among the dangers.
Lyvius is a horse who will pop up in a decent handicap but Spirit of Shankly (14.30)will hopefully score for my 50 to follow. Conqueror of Urban Hymn as a novice he is clearly well regarded by Charlie Longsdon.
The Old Roan Chase at 15.10 features the smart Module who should be suited by this trip compared with his Champion Chase 3rd. Alan King’s Uxizandre was only beaten by Taquin Du Seoil at Cheltenham and this looks a great opportunity under Barry Geraghty. Mr Moonshine and Edgardo Sol on his first run for Emma Lavelle could reward each way punters.
There are some old favourites in the veterans chase (15.40) but its a race I’d prefer to watch than punt on.
Charlie Longsdon’s Kilfinichen Bay will be well backed in the conditional jockeys 3 miles handicap hurdle at 16.15 to continue his winning run but that aside it looks a bit of a lottery at this stage of the season.
I witnessed Wakanda‘s (16.50)winning debut at Hexham 3 weeks ago and although this is a big step up I will keep the faith as I got the feeling the stable hold him in some regard. Barring one mistake he looked a natural chaser and provided he doesn’t get outpaced can beat Timesremembered who was in great form over hurdles last Autumn. Philip Hobbs Horizontal Speed is another sure to make his mark over fences whilst Nicky Henderson’s Golden Hoof has to be feared.
The finale (won by Garde La Victoire last year)is probably bets watched for future reference with Hobbs, Henderson (2) and McCain all with runners. The winner is likely to prove useful.
Second here 4 weeks ago I like the look of Martin Keighley’s Milan gelding Primo Capitano (NAP) in the first at 13.50 where Emma Lavelle’s Casino Markets ranks the danger.
Two of my 50 to follow go on the Novice Chase at 14.30 and I just slightly favour Emma Lavelle’s MossPark over Philip Hobbs’ Sausalito Sunrise.
I was mightily impressed by Relentless Dreamer (15.35) when he won at this course 2 weeks ago and I will stay with him to step up in class in the Persian War Grade 2 hurdle despite the obvious claims of Nicky Henderson’s facile Newton Abbot winner Son Du Berlais.
Shelford (NB) (16.10) is well regarded by Dan Skelton and looks on a handy weight to foolow up his course success 2 weeks ago. Dangers abound but Shelford might well have the edge,.
Eastlake each way (16.45) was very consistent last year for Jonjo O’Neill including finishing 3rd in the Topham and at 8 might have some improvement to come. Drumshambo is a favourite of mine whilst Grey Gold is to be feared for his Welsh trainer.
Course and distance winner Somerby (17.15) can win the closing Amateurs race under the talented Harry Bannister.