Ascot, Haydock and Newcastle previews
Bit of a pre Christmas look to the racing tomorrow but not as uninspiring as some of last Saturday’s cards, although ironically it proved a proftable day.
Rascal won by a wide margin at Southwell and is fancied to follow up for the Skelton’s in the opener.
Irish Saint should appreciate the step in trip in the graduation chase, where Puffin Billy is also of interest. Thomas Crapper is crying out for further.
Bellenos (50 to follow) will find it tough under 11st 12 but is taken to win despite the presence of other course and distance winners Lancetto and Ulck Du Lin. Malibu Sun is in cracking form making this a tricky contest to call.
The Long Walk hurdle sees Zarkandar clash with the winner for the last two years Reve De Sivola. But I take a chance with the improving Aubusson to cause a bit of an upset and establish himself as a possible World Hurdle contender.
Houblon Des Obeaux won this last year and his second in the Hennessey warrants plenty of respect for the deadly Saturday combo of Venetia William and Aidan Coleman but The Young Master is improving rapidly and can gain compensation for the Badgers Ales fiasco under the maestro Barry Geraghty.
Its a typically competitive Ladbroke Hurdle but I am particular sweet on Dan Skelton’s Shelford and not just because the trainer won this race last year. I got the impression when winning Chepstow that he is well regarded. Goodwood Mirage, who beat subsequent dual winner Lightening Rod at Wetherby in October will be a big danger if bucking the trend of his out of form stable’s runners at present. Balgarry hasn’t run for two years but his trainer David Pipe is a master at getting them fit after a long absence.
Kilcooley 2.40 ran much better behind the very smart L’Ami Serge and is taken to see of Run Ructions Run and River Deep.
Sue Smith’s Grate Fella may have further improvement in him and may reward at decent odds in the novice chase in the 1.00 where Boondooma is perhaps a more solid selection.
Harry Fry’s Bitofapuzzle looks a tank of a horse for a mare and can see of Alan King’s The Pirates Queen in the 1.30.
The Tommy Whittle at 2.15 looks slightly sub standard in quality but remains an open looking contest. Fill The Power is taken to see off Toby Lerone over what should be a very testing 3 miles with Venetia Williams Howards Legacy taken to split the pair.
Lucinda Russell’s Kingswell Theatre won what looked an above average novice hurdle at Kelso last time and can defeat the favourite Tarlan in the opener.
Firth Of The Clyde can take the Northumberland chase following his fair second at Kelso and should appreciate the longer trip.
Alan Swinbank has a good record in bumpers and can take the finale with One More Go. Qaffal is of interest under Harry Bannister.