My Way de Solzen could not have been more impressive on his chase debut at Lingfield and he will take some beating if lining up in the Grade 2 novice chase at Sandown (2.05) on Saturday. If he is an absentee then Paul Nicholl’s ex French New Little Bric who is apparently well thought of at home and won easily on his UK debut would be my selection.
In the Tingle Creek at 2.35 it is impossible to oppose the in form Kauto Star. He won this last season and is rated well in excess of his rivals. The interesting one is Arkle winner Voy Por Ustedes who would have been my selection but for the presence of Kauto Star. Alan King’s up and coming star handles soft ground and if anything is going to give Kauto Star a race he is likely to be the one.
In the 12.20 at Wetherby look out for Double Default and Ossmoses. Double Default won between the flags at Tallow and was promptly snapped up by Sir Robert Ogden. He is well thought of by connections. Ossmoses will no doubt be contesting some of the better long distance staying chases but he should go well if taking his chance in this modest looking hurdle race, especially if the conditions are testing.
Mr Pointment has already made an impressive winning debut over fences and looks very much a horse to follow. He is entered in the 2.55.
Kelso 1.00 According to John, Ungaru and Mr Pointment, from our list to follow are all entered in this.
3.00 Scarvagh Diamond has been running well in bumpers and has recently moved to Nicky Richard’s yard.
At Warwick on Sunday I see that Snakebite (2.10) and Sound Accord (3.40) are entered from our list to follow.
In the novice hurdle at 1.40 David Pipe’s Scotland Yard looks the type to do well over hurdles. He won twice on the flat at Ripon.
In the Hattan Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse (2.05) I fancy Asian Maze who should find the trip ideal. Incidentally the race is named after the horse that won the Champion Hurdle in 1949, 1950 and 1951 when trained by Vincent O’Brien.
There are a number of horses from our list to follow entered in the Drinmore Novice Chase but without knowing riding plans or ground conditions I do not have any strong views.
There is racing at Fakenham on Monday and I would fancy Alan King’s Kandjar D’Allier if he lines up in the 2.20.
A few more pointers
Carryon on the theme of some old favourites likely to be seen in point to points and hunter chases this season here are a few more names for the notebook.
Paul Hogarth, who trains at Lower Withington in Cheshire has acquired a couple of familiar names. Cordilla looked a possible future star not so long ago when trained by Nicky Richards. He won over both hurdles and fences but tended to have problems with his jumping. Europa, a winner of 10 races used to be with Ferdy Murphy. He can boast some smart form on his CV. For example he was 3rd behind Monkerhostin and Thisthatandtother at Cheltenham a couple of years back, with Armaturk, Fondmort and Impek behind him.
Limerick Leader is now with Patrick Hutchinson, having been bought out of Phillip Hobbs yard and looks the type to do well between the flags, while King Eider is with David Kemp who trains in Norfolk. King Eider is a member of a fairly exclusive club in that he has won on the flat, over hurdles and fences. He has had injury problems so it may be touch and go whether he makes it to the course.
Double Honour is another member of that exclusive club, in fact he has a listed contest to his credit on the flat and he has been placed in some of the top staying chases. Marie McGuiness trains Double Honour. She and her husband run a satellite yard for Phillip Hobbs who trained Double Honour under rules.
Spring Grove and Telemoss have both appeared on my lists to follow down the years. Both had there injury problems over the years. Andy Old, whose wife runs a satellite yard for Robert Alner will be training Spring Grove while Nicky Richards will be aiming Telemoss at the better hunter chases. Telemoss was a useful hurdler with his biggest win coming in the John Smith’s hurdle at Wetherby two years ago. He won a few novice chases after going chasing quite late in his career but ran into injury problems. Another that will probably be seen in the top hunter chases is Drombeag who is trained by Jonjo O’Neill.
Gunther McBride won the Racing Post Chase in 2002. He will be trained by Mike Tuckey and will be going hunter chasing.
Foly Pleasant is now with Karen Waldron. He was 2nd in the Foxhunters at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival.
Lord Atterbury used to be trained by Martin Pipe and was 3rd in the Grand National in 2004 but fell at the first the following year. He is now trained by Gina Weare and may end up in hunter chases.
Barryscourt Lad is another that used to be trained by Martin Pipe. His biggest win came in the Great Yorkshire Chase in 2003. Ben Woodhouse trains the 12 year old in Yorkshire.
The UK point to point season gets under way earlier this season. The first meeting is at the Black Forest Club in the west country on Sunday.
I will be back on Monday evening – have a good weekend.