Diary: February 16 2013

 

Ascot

1.30 This is a difficult race to weight up. Paul Nicholls runs Aiim to Prosper twice a winner of the Cesarewitch but yet to reach that level of form over hurdles. Royal Guardsman was a leading bumper horde lasts season but is another yet to fulfil that promise over timber. Up and Go and Sausalito Sunrise are former point to point winners that have already tasted victory over hurdles. Up and Go strikes me as the sort to improve, although he will need to as he is giving weight away all round but he is the tentative selection.

2.05 Rocky Creek was a smooth winner at Warwick and is difficult to oppose here although taking a short price in a race of this nature is always a worry.

2.40 Cappa Bleu is being aimed at another tilt at the Grand National and may need the run so I will side with course winner Vino Griego who comes here in good form.

3.50 This is a classy renewal. Cue Card didn’t stay last time out at Kempton and the trip here will be more to his liking.

4.25 The usual Saturday head to head between trainer Nicholls (Far West) and Henderson (River Maigue). Far West is getting 9 lbs from his rival and that could make the difference.

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Haydock

2.20 I was originally going to choose Kentford Grey Lady but the stable form, or lack of it, is a worry. Trustan Times will handle the ground and is given slight preference.

2.55 It is hard to knock the credentials of Teaforthree. He won the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season, finished a very creditable 6th in the Hennessy and then was runner up in the Welsh National. He jumps really well and has won on soft and heavy ground.

4.40 Hold on Julio is well treated on his chase form.

Picture courtesy of Emily Russell

Diary: February 9 2013

 

Newbury

1.15 This features the usual Saturday clash between trainers Henderson and Nicholls. Chatterbox has the form in the book having won over course and distance last time out. He is up against Lac Fontana who has rock solid flat form in France and makes his hurdles bow, getting weight from Chatterbox.

1.50 Knock a Hand ran well last time when 5th at Warwick. He is a course and distance winner and could go well along with Captain Sunshine who was destined for at least the runner up spot when falling at the last on his latest start.

2.25 Silviniaco Conti looked very good when beating Long Run at Haydock and is hard to oppose.

3.35 Cash And Go and Cotton Mill are my two against the field. The ground may not suit Claret Cloak which was my original selection. At a bigger price Swing Bowler is worth considering as an each way shot.

4.10 Unioniste won well at Cheltenham and looks the one to beat here.

At Uttoxeter Scholastica is my selection in the 4.00 while at Leopardstown Flemenstar can get the better of Sir Des Champs in the 3.20.

Warwick selections

1.30 Ma filleule

2.40 Marshall Zhukov