Race of the day today was definitely the valuable hurdle race that opened the card at Sandown. Neither Penzance nor Arcalis came to the race in much form but they were involved in a thrilling finish. The camera couldn’t separate them and the result was a dead heat. They were both winners at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival with Penzance taking the Triumph Hurdle and Arcalis the Supreme Novices.
Tomorrow is the final day of the 2006/7 jumps season and Sandown stages a top class mixed meeting.
The first runner from our list to follow is Midas Way in the 2.10. I thought he would win over hurdles this season based on his old flat form but after a couple of promising placed efforts his form has rather tailed off.
The two races that follow are both top class steeplechases.
In the Celebration Chase at 2.40 Dempsey is the obvious form pick. His 2nd to Voy Por Ustedes in the Champion Chase was an excellent run and added to that Dempsey has an excellent record at Sandown where his form figures read 112U1. The other one that I would consider is Yes Sir who came back to form at Ayr last week making all and running his rivals ragged. He will certainly love the ground and won over hurdles on his only previous visit to Sandown.
The Betfred Gold Cup at 3.20 is one of the most famous steeolechases on the calendar. Reveillez and Alderburn are my fancies here. Both are progressive, well handicapped and act on the ground.
The action switches to the flat for the Classic Trial at 4.25. Al Tharib showed promise as a 2 year old finishing 3rd in both his runs. His sire was 3rd in the Derby and Al Tharib should be suited to the 10 furlong trip. Petara Bay is already a winner this season scoring a battling win at Newmarket earlier this month. Asperity comes from an in form stable and did little wrong last season. After being narrowly beaten by the experienced Duke of Tuscany on his debut he then ran out an easy winner at Newmarket. Regime ran 4 times last season with his best run coming when runner up at The Curragh from a bad draw. Tough one to call but I will make Asperity my selection.
The 4.55 looks a tricky handicap. Bailieborough would be my cautious each way selection.
At Haydock tomorrow evening I am interested in a couple of runners in the 7.15. Forroger was a winner at Newmarket last season and look to be on a winnable mark. I am not sure that the ground will be right for him though as he likes it soft. Manipulate is my selection. He had 3 runs last season and can be expected to improve considerably on his efforts so far. His trainer does well with this type of horse.
Rhaam was 6th of 13 in a decent Newmarket maiden 10 days ago and will strip fitter for that run. He runs in the 8.15.
Michael Bell saddles Gull Wing in the 3.30 at Leicester. Gull Wing won the last of her 3 runs last season at Wolverhampton. She looks the type to improve at 3. Hayley Turner rides.
In the 4.05 New Seeker will have the fast ground he loves. He goes well fresh and as he stays 8 furlongs hopefully the stiff finish at Leicester over 4 furlongs will not inconvenience him.
I am interested in Wing Express in the 5.05. He is a half brother to 6 winners and the same trainer jockey combination won this race 2 years ago with Futun.
Tetouan went on my list to follow for two reasons. His promising 2nd at Lingfield in March and his pedigree. He is a half brother to Pongee and is also related to Alexandrova. He was a disappointing beaten favourite on his last run but I am not giving up on his just yet. He runs in the 5.35 where the step up to a mile may help. The other runner from our list to follow in this race is Feeling Wonderful. She won her only start last season in the mud at Catterick and, as the saying goes, could be anything.
The oddly named Osteopathic Remedy represents our list to follow in the Ripon 2.30. He won first time out last season at Ayr and was not disgraced when 4th at York next time when he was noted doing his best work at the finish.
There are some old friends in the 3.40. Dr Sharp would need rain but in form Halla San must be respected but his stamina might be suspect. Raucous is a very lightly raced type who won a maiden here over 12 furlongs last season. He may well stay this sort of trip judged on his pedigree. The horses from our current list to follow in this race are Bollin Derek and Macorville. The trip will not be a problem for Bollin Derek but he would probably appreciate some rain. The dour stayer Macorville is another that would be more at home in soft ground.
That is all for tonight. I will be back on Sunday evening.
Continue reading “Diary: April 28 2007”