Saturday 23rd February 2018
As we draw closer to Cheltenham more and more Festival clues become apparent and there should be a whole host of them this weekend as winners from these meetings have gone on to win at Cheltenham in the past. I’ll do my full meeting preview for Kempton and i’ve got the a couple of features for Fairyhouse & Lingfield. Enjoy!
1.15 – Master Dancer (7/1) (E/W) (Jockey: A Johns – Trainer: T Vaughan)
(Won well at Cheltenham back in October and followed with good run at Newbury. May well be thereabouts again here.)
1.50 – Cyrname (4/6) (Jockey: S Bowen – Trainer: P F Nicholls)
(Very hard to oppose here as he’s well ahead of these on current form. Should be winning this.)
2.25 – Redicean (10/11) (Jockey: W Hutchinson – Trainer: A King)
(The French raider Beau Gosse here is very interesting here and will be a live threat. I’ve become a fan of Redicean though and I believe he’ll improve again here and get his head in front.)
3.00 – Scarlet Dragon (5/1) (E/W) (Jockey: W Hutchinson – Trainer: A King)
(A very smart performer on the Flat and if transferring his ability to this sphere he’s sure to be a big player. Yard had a winner yesterday with former Flat horse at Warwick and wouldn’t be surprised if this one followed suit.)
3.35 – Acting Lass (7/2) (Jockey: N D Fehily – Trainer: H Fry)
(Yard out of form at the minute however i’m a big fan of this horse. Progressing really nicely this season and gives the impression that this step up in trip will suit.)
3.35 – Tintern Theatre (9/1) (E/W) (Jockey: S Twiston-Davies – Trainer: N A Twiston-Davies)
(Didn’t complete for a third time the last day but won well around here the time before that. Still lightly raced and if getting round could be a player.)
4.10 – No Ceiling (4/1) (Jockey: T J O’Brien – Trainer: I Williams)
(All of his wins have come over two miles and hasn’t had a go at much further that many times. Won well last time though at Doncaster and could have more to come yet off the back of a break.)
4.45 – Pym (6/4) (Jockey: N de Boinville – Trainer: N J Henderson)
(Won very nicely when last seen beating two subsequent hurdle winners in the process. Still holds entry to Champion Bumper and a bold showing wouldn’t be a surprise.)
3.30 Fairyhouse Bobbyjo Chase (Grade 3) (3m 1f)
One of the feature contests at the weekend is the Bobbyjo Chase over at Fairyhouse which is a Grade 3 contest over three miles and a furlong.
This year’s renewal see’s the return of a few of of Bellshill for Willie Mullins and the Wylies and finds himself at the top of the market here trading at a general 7/4, we haven’t seen him since his third placed effort in the RSA at last year’s Cheltenham Festival where he was behind Might Bite and Whisper. He’s a classy performer and if fully wound up for this he’s likely to put in a bold showing.
The one I like here is MALA BEACH also for Gordon Elliott. He was pulled up the last day in the Irish Gold Cup but was in decent form before that winning the Troytown over at Navan. He’s on a career high mark here but despite pulling up the last day I still think he comes here with a few less questions hanging over him than some of these. He’s a general 5/2 shot.
MALA BEACH – 7/4 –
Betway Winter Derby Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (1m 2f)
3.15 Lingfield (AW)
The All Weather Championships is really starting to get to the business end of things now as this Saturday one of the feature contests takes place over at Lingfield which is none other than the Winter Derby itself. I’ve been very vocal about my support for All Weather racing this year as I think it throws up some really intriguing and competitive contests which end up being great spectacles, none more so than if you are one of the rarer breeds that prefers flat racing like myself.
Onto the contest itself then and it’s thrown up what is a class renewal in my opinion as well as a really competitive one. We see some really classy flat performers go toe to toe here and it’s currently headed by a horse that has come to be known as the ‘Queen Of Dundalk’ in Clear Skies for AP O’Brien, who trades at a general 3/1. She’s rattled off a series of impressive wins over in Ireland on Friday evenings at Dundalk and she comes here in red hot form.
Autocratic for Sir Michael Stoute is next up in the market who hasn’t been seen since last summer but does have some solid form in pattern company. Last year’s winner Convey can be found trading at a slightly bigger odds in the market, generally around the 13/2 mark. He found a real liking for the All Weather last year taking this contest as well as the middle distance race on Finale Day, so it goes without say that you’d be foolish to rule him out. Utmost for John Gosden comes here in form having taking a Listed Contest the last day when winning nicely and looks a typically progressive sort for powerful connections.
I’m a big fan of this Irish Queen though in CLEAR SKIES and I think she’ll take the beating here. She comes here race fit and in red hot form throughout the winter as well as getting a few pounds off the rest of the field. She has a bit to find on a couple of these but I still think there’s more to come from her and can go very close here.
CLEAR SKIES – 9/4 –
NAP: Mala Beach – 3.35 Fairyhouse
NB: Clear Skies – 3.15 Lingfield