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A bit closer to home is miles away from the warmth & riches of Saudi Arabia but the racing is no less exciting, if a little poorer in prize money… What it lacks in cash it makes up in drama & we love it more for the horses & the personalities on display…
There is some fantastic races for us to get our teeth into & as normal we are joined by our NH talisman Chris Price, who will run through his thoughts for today, joined by Jamie & Rich….
2.40 Grand National Trial Handicap Chase
Lord Du Mesnil finished well beaten in the rescheduled Welsh National last month, but there were clear excuses that day as conditions were not as testing as many believed. The ground should be much more to this one’s liking and he returns to a venue where where his form over these fences reads 112. Richard Hobson’s charge is 2lb higher than that of his close 2nd in this race last year, with another big run expected today. At the current prices, he seems a nice each-way bet.
3.35 Ascot Chase
I’m steering clear of the fancied Paul Nicholls runners here, with Cyrname, Master Tommytucker plus emphatic course and distance winner Dashel Drasher in the field, this one could be run at a furious clip. Benny’s King just failed to reel in the latter named here last month, but is now 2lb better off as they run off level weights today. Harry Skelton is likely to bide his time and hope they cook each others goose out front. If the race plays out as expected, the current double figure price seems very tempting, especially if all 5 stand their ground.
2:05 – Haydock – Rendlesham Hurdle (G2) – Selection: Itchy Feet
The feature race on a good looking card at Haydock. Emitom brings good course form, including a win in this race last year while On The Blind Side has been running very well and consistently all season. However I am going to side with Itchy Feet who judging by the way he finishes his races off over 2m 4f could well see this step up to 3m in his favour. He has always been rated highly by the Olly Murphy stable and should make his presence felt at this grade. His last run over hurdles came at Aintree in April 2019 but that wouldn’t put me off and the return to hurdling could ignite something in him.
3:00 – Ascot – Betfair Handicap Hurdle – Selection: Arrivederci
An open looking handicap hurdle with 16 going to post. I really like the chances of Arrivederci who ran very well last time out at Ascot when second in a G3 over this trip. He ticks a lot of boxes as he acts on soft ground, looks ahead of the handicapper and is still relatively unexposed. It looks like this race may set up well for him and if his jumping holds up then Jonjo O’Neill’s runner holds every chance on all known form. Of the rest I quite like Kateson who finished behind Arrivederci three weeks ago as a solid each way bet. This looks set to be one of the races of the day.
3:18 – Wincanton – Kingwell Hurdle (G2) Selection: Goshen
It’s a typically small but select field for this Grade 2 prize as Champion Hurdle credentials are put to the test. That statement could not be truer for Goshen who really needs to show a spark here today heading into Cheltenham. Things went wrong for the 5yo on his seasonal reappearance when he tailed off badly in the International Hurdle. Nothing went right for team Goshen that day and you would just have to put it down as a blip. If Gary Moore’s charge is back to the form that saw him storm clear in the Triumph Hurdle before the cruel unseating of Jamie Moore then he has a big chance. He also recieves the 5lbs weight allowance from Navajo Pass & Song From Someone. It is a bit risky backing him today no doubt but I can’t get the image of this horse sauntering clear in the Triumph Hurdle out of my head. Goshen remains a top prospect.
Haydock – Soft to Heavy in Places…
2.05 Rendlesham Hurdle – Grade 2 – 4yo Plus – 3m 58yds…
On The Blind Side – Stowaway X Such A Set Up 9yo gelding.
Returned to hurdles this season & has been in fantastic form, winning 2 from 4 starts & 2 runner up spots. Landed a Cheltenham 3m Listed hurdle on return in November before 2 runner up spots at Cheltenham in a 3m Class 2 handicap & then again in the Rekeel Grade 2 over 2m 5f at Kempton..
Back to winning ways last time out when beating Lil Rockerfella in a thrilling finish by a neck in a 2m 7f Market Rasen Class 2 handicap,,,,
That is everything for the UK today…. Thanks for popping by & Please Stay Safe. We really appreciate your continued support…
All the best – The Arseonlineracing Team