Top class jumping at Haydock and Ascot on Saturday and I’m off to Haydock for Racing UK where I hope, but more importantly believe, that Cue Card can win another edition of the Betfair Chase.
There have been many column inches extended on whether this horse should even be racing, given that he’s fallen twice in his last three starts, but I firmly believe that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with his jumping technique and almost all of his ability is intact.
Three of his last four completed racing post ratings have been in excess of 170, he made a massive step forward from the Charlie Hall to this race last year and he’s proven now a days, that he has no issue with very soft ground. Harry Cobden is a confident young rider and I don’t think he’ll be overwhelmed by the experience.
I don’t think Bristol De Mai is open to as much improvement (fitness wise) from his comeback, for all that he loved Haydock and the conditions.
Outlander looked an improved horse when winning at Down Royal, but I still have doubts about his stamina against this calibre of opposition.
The bigger danger may come from Tea For Two who beat Cue Card at Aintree last year and also has good form on a very testing surface.
The big Handicap Hurdle at Haydock is no longer run over brush hurdles and as such has attracted a pretty classy field.
I’ll be a little bit disappointed if The Worlds End can’t defy a Handicap mark of 149. He looked a top-class prospect last year, probably would have won at the Cheltenham Festival but for falling, and demolished this weekend’s rival, No Hassle Hoff, by nine lengths in a Grade 2 at this track, last February.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big run from Temple Ross at the foot of the weights. He’s been unconvincing over fences but has got some decent handicap form over hurdles, doesn’t mind this ground and will feel like he’s running loose with ten-stone-one, less his riders claim.
So, I’ll be backing Worlds End to win and backing Temple Ross each way.
I’ll also be backing Chase The Spud in the 3.35. He’s not a high mileage horse for a nine-year old, he’s only had nineteen starts, and he improved all through last year.
He likes this course, likes the ground and if he’s anything like his stable companions, he’d have improved over the summer too. He’s won first time out before so I’m not too worried about the absence and the overnight prices certainly make plenty of appeal.
I quite like the chances of Bryony Frost riding another big Saturday winner, this time on San Benedeto in the 3.15 at Ascot. Granted a decent pace over fences, he’s making up into a very consistent horse. He’s got good form at the track and he can give Sire de Grugy a fright in receipt of a fair bit of weight.
Earlier in the day I like the chances of Lil Rockerfeller to upset Defi Du Seuil and L’ami Serge.
He received weight off both, is rated higher than both and might just be able to outstay them with the Wetherby run under his belt. It should also be noted that he lost one cheek piece that day and hung in that direction late in the race.
Check out Rich Ricci on this weeks Racehour Podcast brought to you by BetBright
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