Saturday 21st November 2020
Welcome to this week’s preview where it’s Betfair Chase Day at Haydock. A meeting that I’v attended a few times in recent years and despite having little success really on the punting front they’ve always been top class days. Of course, this year there will be no crowd so obviously that means we won’t be getting the atmosphere we’re used too but we’re still getting the top drawer racing.
I’ll be sticking to Haydock as to be quite frank, I think the field sizes at Ascot are an absolute shambles.
The first race I’ll take a look at from Haydock is the 12.10 which is a Listed Novices’ Hurdle over just shy of two miles. I’m siding with the Ben Pauling trained SEVERANCE here who’s the mount of Kielan Woods and is a general 9/4 chance. He was rated in the high 80’s low 90’s on the flat and made a big impression on hurdling debut earlier this month at Carlisle beating a well fancied horse by the best part of eight lengths. That win came in heavy going so testing conditions shouldn’t be an issue and he could well prove a smart recruit to this code. The obvious dangers come in the form of Flic Ou Voyou and Do Your Job who both hold obvious big chances.
Next up is the 12:40 which is a Class 2 Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong and a half. An extremely competitive affair of which I’m taking a somewhat tentative alliance with Charlie Longsdon’s SNOW LEOPARDESS at the 7/1 mark. She’s partnered up with Brian Hughes here which is a never a bad thing and despite being eight she’s still very lightly raced, I was actually at Newbury over 3 years ago when she beat Copper Kay in a Grade 2 and remarkably she’s only had the five runs since. She was a long way behind Shan Blue on her most recent outing over fences, however you wouldn’t think there was anything in here of that rivals quality and I think she’s still got a lot more to offer.
Moving onto the 1:15 which is a Graduation Chase over just shy of two miles and six furlongs. Paul Nicholls’ Master Tommytucker will be tough to beat here if he’s on a going day and doesn’t do anything barmy, which he is prone to do. Because of that I’m taking him on at his short price and siding with GOOD BOY BOBBY at 3/1 for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Daryl Jacob. He was last seen winning at Bangor on seasonal reappearance at the end of October, he beat Antunes pretty comfortably on that occasion and that rival went onto win yesterday, franking the form. He also had some smart form from last season and if the favourite is on another mad one he’s got more than enough class to capitalise.
The 1:50 is a Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs and is another very competitive affair. On this occasion I’ve taken a chance on ARRIVEDERCI at 11/2 for Jonjo O’Neil and O’Neil Jr. He seems to be progressing nicely and won very well when last seen at the end of October where he beat War Lord by just shy of three lengths at Wetherby. If carrying on said progression here he could well put in another big run
It’s Grade 3 action next at 2:25 in the Stayers Handicap Hurdle over a distance of just over three miles. I’ve actually had two in this and the first of them comes in the form of IMPERIAL ALCAZAR for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan at 6/1. I was at Leicester when this horse last run, he went off an odds on favourite and won by over six lengths as he liked. He’s still very much unexposed which can’t be said for some here and could prove a big threat to all if continuing his progression. The other one I’ve taken a chance on here is COLLOONEY for Olly Murphy and Aidan Coleman at around the 8/1 mark. Another unexposed sort who was last seen beating Nicky Henderson’s Hijak at Fontwell where he traveled noticeably well throughout the contest. A lot like the other pick I think that there’s more to come from him.
Concluding this week’s preview is the main event which is of course the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at 3:00, or the Lancashire Chase over three miles and a furlong and a half. I’m keeping it simple here I think this is all about LOSTINTRANSLATION at 11/8 for Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power. Winner of the race last year he went onto finish an impressive third in the Gold Cup where he was travelling the best for large periods of the race. I think he’ll be a big player in this year’s renewal of the Cheltenham feature and he can take this again on his way to it. Dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux is a serious rival if anywhere near fit and obvious consideration must go to Bristol De Mai who is a dual winner of this race and is well known for his love for this particular track.