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WE STAND WITH UKRAINE
This is likely to be our last Saturday blog for a couple of weeks, usually the Saturday before the Cheltenham Festival is quiet, so we like to prepare for what will be a very hectic 4 days of blogging.
We released our first Podcast, which covered the first day of the Festival, when Jamie & Rich mulled over the Supreme, Champion Hurdle & Arkle. On Thursday, while MOST of the other previews were taking place, Chris, Jamie & Rich recorded Part 2 – Cheltenham Wednesday… (Released on Saturday PM via Spotify)
Let’s make this a Super Saturday, with Meydan in full swing & the Dubai World Cup on the horizon along with Newbury, Doncaster, Kelso & many other racing fixtures today!
Charlie, Jamie & Rich have you covered today, so let’s get this Super Saturday started…
Newbury 2.27 Class 4 Handicap over 2m69y
Selection – Mark Of Gold – 5yr old Gelding out of Golden Horn and Polly’s Mark. Has had 13 runs in total winning twice on the flat in 2020. Has had 4 starts over hurdles winning twice and finishing 2nd and 5th in the 2 races prior to winning over hurdles and finishing 2nd on his 3 starts at Plumpton. Although was 5th when last seen at Newbury on the 15th December last year, that was first start over hurdles and has learnt from that experience. Won on last 2 outings at Plumpton beginning with a 7 length victory over Dream In The Park on the 19th January and won again on next visit on the 14th February when beating Torbellino by 16 lengths. If showing up in same mindset shown on last 2 runs could have too much class for this field, with biggest danger coming in the shape of Irish Hill from the Paul Nicholls yard who has won 3 times from 6 starts although 2 of those wins were over in France.
Doncaster 4.05 Class 2 Handicap Hurdle over 3m 84y
Selection – Imphal – 8yr old Gelding out of Nathaniel and Navajo Rainbow. Has had 32 career starts winning 8 times, 4 of those wins were over hurdles starting at Ludlow on the 21st October last year when beating Dynali by 1 length. 2nd hurdles win came at Fontwell on the 5th November when beating Lelantos by a neck with The Tin Miner finishing 3rd some 11 lengths behind first 2 home. The 3rd win came at Huntingdon on the 20th November when beating Dynali by 1 and 1/2 lengths. Was 3rd at Lingfield on next start on the 25th November when behind Malinas Island and Freethinker although was only beaten by 4 lengths. Was a 7 and 1/2 length 2nd behind Ardhill at Ascot on the 18th December. Most recently won at Wincanton on the 20th January this year when beating Acey Milan by 2 and 1/4 lengths. If reproducing the form shown in last 6 starts should be enough to land this race biggest threat to the selection comes in the shape of Sultans Pride who has won his last 2 starts.
1:20 – Al Bastakiya Stakes (3yo Listed)
Selection – Sari Dubai
This is the main warm up race for the UAE Derby at the end of the month and with no US trained runners it looks an open heat. Having looked through the form at 10/1 (odds at time of writing) Sari Dubai is worth a shot having ran the favourite Bendoog to a closing length and a quarter last time out in a Maiden. The form of that race looks solid as the third Withering, who is in the opposition today won the trial for this race next time out. Doug Watson’s Colt showed improvement that day from his first run in Dubai when a well held third in a conditions race. Of course, this is another step up in class but I think he has a cracking chance of getting placed. The step up in trip and the likelihood of a stronger pace setup will also suit. Sari Dubai ticks a lot of boxes.
Each way advised!
4:05 – Mahab Al Shimaal (G3)
A field of ten go to post for this G3 race over 6F which is a trial for the Golden Shaheen on World Cup night. This race has an open feel to it, there is no real standout contender as the market suggests. Canvassed is a horse I follow at the carnival and I like his chances today. The son of Shamardal is a consistent sort who brings some of the best form into the race, which he won last year. So far this campaign Canvassed has registered fifth and second place finishes, that second was a good effort in a G3 over C+D and should put him spot on for this race. His running style from the rear will not be good for the blood pressure but if they go quick enough up front then he should be able to fly home and hopefully pick up another valuable prize. Another to note is Charlie Fellowes’ Ejtilaab who took to the dirt very well last time out and makes appeal at an each way price.
Kelso – Soft ( Heavy in Places)
2.40 Premier Chase (Class 1 Listed) – 5yo Plus – 2m 7f 96yds
Big River – Milan X Call Katie 12yo gelding.
4 wins from 4 C&D runs. 8 Wins & 3 places from 11 course runs, gives Big River a BIG shout in this race today, given that he has won 7 times & placed 5 in the ground conditions, despite being the eldest runner in the field.
The gelding steps back up to class 1 level today, having been running in Class 3 handicaps, which were both wins over C&D in December & January. Although his Class 1 form isn’t the greatest, with 4 of the 9 runs in this class coming at Cheltenham. He runs from his highest rating of 145 but is a BIG EACH WAY shout….
3.15 Morebattle Handicap Hurdle – Class 2 – 4yo Plus – 2m 51yds
Buveur D’Air – Crillon X History 11yo gelding.
THe 2018 Champion hurdle winner makes a return after 331 days away from the track. He was last seen in April, when finishing a 4 & 3/4 length 4th to Abacadabras in the Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1). He has won 1 of his last 4 starts & that was at Punchestown in 2019, when landing the the Irish Champion Hurdle.
His last run in this class was back in December 2016, when he beat Cloudy Dream by 3 & 1/4 lengths. The gelding has run over 2m 20 times & has won 14 of them, placing 5 times in this type of ground. A class drop today but gives the field 6LB & is by far the Top Rated horse in the field at 153, while also being the eldest. EACH WAY
I would also like to shout out the chances of Donald McCain & Brian Hughes at Kelso today, they have 3 very good chances today….
That’s all for today folks, our 2 latest articles are available on our website ( AOBFS Classic Contenders & WattySpots – Part 7) along with our February BIG Interviews with Nick Gifford & Anthony Honeyball.
Thanks for popping by & for your continued support, we really appreciate it.
All the Best – The Arseonlineracing Team