I’m currently writing this whilst being given a rough introduction to the world of tipping at Dundalk on Friday evening but we move on to Saturday’s big contests of which I shall start at Ascot as there’s still a slight doubt that Haydock will be go ahead..
2.25 Ascot – Holloways Handicap Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 3) (2m 3f)
A competitive renewal of this Grade 3 Hurdle contest of which Nicky Henderson’s Jenkins heads affairs. Now, I just can’t be having Jenkins, he won again the last day finally but it really did frustrate me. How on earth can you go from looking like your hating every minute of racing to looking as enthusiastic as he did. He may well win again here under his new found love of the game but not for me.
I’ve been torn between two here and the first of these is Le Breuil. A highly thought of horse and I saw him at Aintree when he finished second the last day. I still think he’s got a big run in him but Ben Pauling’s yard are really quiet at the minute and his current mark isn’t the most generous.
The one I’ll be siding with is CROSSED MY MIND. He ran a very nice race when third on his reappearance the last day at Sandown and I think he can build on that here. Another big plus for me here is that talented young rider Jonjo O’Neil is on board taking off seven which is a big factor.
CROSSED MY MIND – 6/1 (E/W) –
3.00 Ascot – Bet 365 Handicap Chase (Class 2) (2m 5f)
Another competitive affair at Ascot next and it’s the Bet 365 Handicap Chase over 2 miles and 5 furlongs. A lot of these come here with obvious chances none more so than the likes of Guitar Pete who comes here a revitalised horse since his move to Nicky Richards yard.
The one I like here though is ACTING LASS for Harry Fry and Noel Fehily. He’s a lightly raced seven year old who comes here on the back off a couple of nice victories in chases. He’s in more choppy waters here against more experienced rivals but I think there’s a lot of untapped potential still about with this one and I expect him to run a big race again.
ACTING LASS – 5/2 –
3.15 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (Class 1) (Grade 2) (3m 1f)
Over to Haydock now and a real test lies ahead here in the Peter Marsh as it’s going to be a real bog if the meeting goes ahead. Saying that Haydock is a real bog in the middle of July never mind January.
I was at this meeting last year when Bristol De Mai destroyed the field and if something gets its way in front in these conditions again I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened again here.
I haven’t been able to narrow it down to one here so i’ve got two selections. The first of these comes in the form of HAINAN for Sue Smith and Danny Cook. He put in a real dominant display from the front here the last day which was also on a heavy surface. He’s consequently gone up 8 pounds for that and is albeit in a tougher field but I feel he may be hard to peg back from the front again in these conditions.
The second selection I like is YALA ENKI for Venetia Williams. He was a bit below par the last day at Ascot but ran well the time before at Newcastle. He enjoys this sort of trip and these conditions which can’t be said for all of the field and I feel he may well put in a bold showing.
HAINAN – 11/2 E/W –
YALA ENKI – 8/1 E/W –