We probably need to enjoy our racing while we have the chance tomorrow as apparently there is another cold snap awaiting us next week
Copper Bleu fairly bolted up at Newbury at the end of November winning by 14 lengths. The second on that occasion, Riverside Theatre franked the form the other day so I am inclined to favour Copper Bleu tomorrow in the 1.55 at Doncaster. The newcomer Master of Arts looks the danger. Now with David Pipe he ran up a sequence of 6 wins ion the flat for Sir Mark Prescott.
Lothian Falcon is a likable type. He has only been out of the first 3 4 times in his last 16 starts. He lines up in the 2.30 at Doncaster tomorrow and although he hasn’t run for 280 days he has gone well fresh in the past. He does need a sound surface so keep an eye on the going if you fancy him. Given good ground I can see him being placed at least.
There are 4 runners from my list to follow in the 3.00. I tipped Kilmackilloge when he won at Wetherby in November partly on the basis that he goes well fresh and this was his first start of the season. He won well that day and has been given a 2 month break. He has gone up 8 lbs for his win which will obviously make life more difficult for him. He will appreciate the drying ground though. He is certainly not a forlorn hope but there are others I prefer. I’msingingtheblues looks the best of the Paul Nicholls trio. His form figures over fences read 121 and his last win when beating Calgary Bay was a good performance. He has won for his jockey tomorrow; Christian Williams and has strong claims. I’m So Lucky put in an encouraging effort when second to Planet of Sound at Newbury trying to give the winner 10 lbs and is another for the short list. Three Mirrors was 5th in the Paddy Power and arguably is best over further than tomorrow’s 2 miles. However there is likely to be a strong gallop which will bring his stamina into play. He is another that will not want the ground too soft .
These 4 all have a chance but at the odds I am inclined to go for Three Mirrors from a yard that traditionally does well in the second half of the season.
Gypsy George was runner up to Jass when they met at Ayr 3 weeks ago but now meets that rival on better terms in the 3.30. Gypsy George should be suited by this test of stamina and he is the selection.
In the 4.10 The Hollinwell and Picture This are my list runners. I am not confident enough about their chances to recommend them tomorrow though.
Turning my attention to Sandown there are some Champion Hurdle contenders lining up in the 2.05. Celestial Hero is likely to be a warm order following his second to Binocular last time. He was very enterprisingly ridden that day though and it is just possible that his finishing position flattered him a little. I am going to take a chance here and oppose him with last season’s Champion Hurdle runner up Osana. Although having his first outing of the season David Pipe is sure to have him fit to do himself justice.
Buck the Legend represents my lit to follow in the 2.35 but with the form of the Twiston-Davies yard not at its strongest I am going to give this one a miss.
I have a short list of 3 in the 3.10. Ballydub chased home Punchestowns earlier in the season and that horse is now one of the favourites for the World Hurdle. The fact that Ballydub was a faller last time will put some people off but if we ignore that run he would be in with an excellent chance. How’s Business struggled at the start of the season but after a breathing operation absolutely bolted up at Exeter on New Year’s Day. She could still have more to offer. At a really big price Khachaturian comes from a stable that is in red hot form and this front runner might be a bit of each way value.
At Wetherby my each way selection in the 1.15 is Breakwater House. He looks on a fair mark and the testing conditions should bring his stamina into play.
There are a couple of runners from my list to follow in the 2.30, The Whisperer and Daldini. The Whisperer has had injury problems but has plenty of talent and if he can be kept sound there should be a nice prize or two in him. He is yet to finish out of the first 3 in his career and is a leading contender here. Daldini put in a respectable effort when 3rd at Doncaster last week. He handles give in the ground and his turn may not be far away.
Wild Cane Ridge has won 9 times in his career with 4 wins each in heavy and soft ground. In very testing conditions he would be a big threat in the 2.50.
Companero has won his last 5 races and has impressed me with his attitude and ability this season. He is the selection in the 3.25. Skipper’s Brig has won 5 times in his career all on heavy ground. If the ground is bottomless then he would be a big danger to the selection.
Today’s pictures are by kind permission of the artist Katy Sodeau.
That is about it for tonight.