Saturday did not go too badly on the tipping front.
“Don’t Push It had a good campaign over fences last season and should be mixing it with the best this time around. He is back over hurdles here, and as long as he settles will be hard to beat.” WON 2/1
“Michael Muck is probably not one of Paul Nicholls stable stars but he won a couple of races last season and he stays well.” WON 11/8
“The rapidly improving Ibn Khaldun looks the one to be on in the 3.40.” WON 11/4
“Heaven Knows ran with promise on his last start when 4th at Ascot and a repeat of that form would see him go close.” WON 100/30
“I don’t have much of a view on the Breeder’s Cup, my only real fancy being Lahudoud in the Filly & Mare Turf.”WON 10/1
Let’s hope for a few more tomorrow!
Aintree stages the best card on Sunday with the highlight being the return of last season’s Gold Cup hero Kauto Star in the Old Roan Chase at 2.40.
Kauto Star is one of 3 runners from our list to follow, the others being last season’s Gold Cup runner up Exotic Dancer and Monet’s Garden, winner of 2 Grade 1 races last season. There is no denying Kauto Star’s achievement last season, winning all 6 of his races, each at a different track.
Although Kauto Star got the better of Exotic Dancer when they met last season, tomorrow’s event is a handicap and the Paul Nicholls runner must give weight away all round. I don’t suppose any of them will be fully would up for this race as they will all have bigger targets later in the season. They have all won at Aintree before, as has the other one to consider, the front running Ashley Brook, so course form is not really a pointer.
Monet’s Garden has an unblemished record first time out and the trip suits him well so he just gets my selection.
The card kicks off with a national hunt novice’s hurdle where the two that stand out are Crocodiles Rock and Laborec. The former won a couple of bumpers last season and was 6th in the Championship bumper at Cheltenham. He shaped as though 20 furlongs would be ideal for him and he looks a smart prospect. Laborec represents the Howard Johnson yard. He won his only start in bumpers at Hexham in taking fashion. He is said to be a nervous individual.
The form of Tidal Bay is hard to knock as he has never been out of the first 2 in his career so far. He gets weight from rivals who all have inferior form over hurdles for his chase debut at 1.40. Backing novice chasers at odds on is probably a tried and tested route to penury but all being well he ought to win. The main thereat may come from Alberta’s Run a winner of 7 of his 9 races, including his chase debut at Towcester this month.
Triumph Hurdle winner Katchit returns to action in the 2.10. He is a likable little horse and has won 7 of his last 8 races. He should win this but may have something to fear from Degas Art. He was a winner in listed class on the flat and although he has won over hurdles his jumping has not always been fluent. Perhaps for this reason he has been best in small fields so with only 4 runners tomorrow his hurdling technique may not be so severely tested as it would be with lots of runners around him.
Trainer Ferdy Murphy thinks a lot of Naiad Du Misselot who showed plenty of promise last season, including a win at Wetherby on Boxing Day. He is stepped up in trip for the 3.15 tomorrow which on pedigree looks within his compass.
Ferdy Murphy also trains Marshall Hall who is my fancy for the 3.50. He won 3 times on the bounce last season; jumps and travels well in his races and may still be improving. My main doubt would be the going as his best form has been shown with plenty of cut.
In the closing bumper at 4.25 I fancy Cool Operator, a winner of his only start in point to points at Curraghmore last Easter Saturday in a good time. Said to prefer good ground he is an interesting prospect. He is by the same sire as the likes of Afsoun and Korello Bay. Of the others Henry Daly’s Major Suspect is worth a second look as is Room at the Top who was trained by Andre Fabre in France but never ran over there. He is with Lucinda Russell now.
This is a really international weekend of racing and I am trying to cover as much of it as possible. One of the horses from our flat list to follow, Short Skirt, runs in the Group 1 fillies amd mares race at Capannelle (Rome) tomorrow. She won well last week at Newmarket when returning after a long absence and providing she doesn’t “bounce” could add to her tally. She is related to the Irish St Leger winner Arctic Owl by the way.
At Wincanton, Martha’s Kinsman should be suited by both track and trip and has an each way chance in the 3.30.
That will do for tonight.