Saturday 15th February 2020
“Welcome to this week’s Weekend Preview, I haven’t had a post up since the Dublin Racing Festival and this one could well prove to be redundant should Storm Dennis have it’s way. However, here’s who I think will emerge victorious in this weekend’s big races at Ascot and Haydock…”
Starting off with The Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase which is a Grade 2 race that takes place at 1.50 at Ascot and is ridden over a distance of just shy of three miles. I think this can go to PYM for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville. He hasn’t been seen since December when winning at Cheltenham, however the way he won that day was impressive. Travelling well throughout the contest before staying on well to get the better of a decent rival. He’s likely a lot more improvement to come and another big effort here wouldn’t be a surprise.
The Ascot Chase is the tracks feature event at 3:35, a Grade 1 contest over two miles and five furlongs. This year’s renewal of the race can go to CYRNAME for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden. He was last seen when finishing second in the King George however he seems to be most at home at this track as he proved when beating Altior here in November. He’s very much the one to beat in what is going to be a small field.
Moving over to Haydock and the 2:05 which is the Rendlesham Hurdle a Grade 2 contest that takes place over a distance of just over three miles. I believe that Tom George has the answer to this one with his smart nine-year-old THE WORLDS END who’s to be ridden by Adrian Heskin. He was last seen when winning the Grade 1 Marsh Hurdle at Ascot when staying on to get the better of L’Ami Serge, that was far from the strongest of Grade 1’s however he brings the most solid form to the race and if anywhere near his best will take some beating here.
The Grand National Trial is the feature at Haydock Park at 3:15. This Handicap Chase over three miles and four furlongs is a typically testing affair which will once again be the case in the conditions expected here. As well as being typically testing it’s also typically competitive which is once again the case here, a case could well be made for most and I’ve taken a chance on 2017 Aintree hero ONE FOR ARTHUR to role back the years for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox. The eleven-year-old is now back down to the mark he was on when he won that day at Aintree and has shown some promising form lately, most notably when fifth in the Becher last time. There’s every chance he could run a big race here if getting a clear round.
Another Grade 2 contest is set to take place at Haydock on Saturday and that’s the Albert Bartlett Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at 4:25 over three miles. It’s hard to see past RAMSES DE TEILEE here for David Pipe and David Noonan who was an impressive winner of a similar Grade 2 contest at Doncaster last time when getting the better of solid yard stick Champagne Well. He arrives here with the best form on offer and is the one they all have to beat.