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Here we go again, heading in to a Big weekend of racing & just over a month until the Cheltenham Festival but also not long to wait for the start of the Flat season. We still have Aintree to go along with Super Saturday from Meydan along with the Dubai Carnival & the massive race day in Saudi….
We have a full compliment today, with Charlie back along with Chris, Jamie & Rich, so let’s get cracking!
Selection – Remastered 10yr old Gelding out of Network and Cathodine Cayras. Has had 25 career starts winning 7 times. Has won 4 chases from 9 starts and has won 2 hurdle races from 12. Has been in great form since having wind surgery with one win over hurdles and a win and a 2nd over fences, is 10lbs lower over hurdles. If reproducing form shown in last 3 starts should have enough to gain another victory today, biggest threat to the selection comes in the shape of Jet of Magic who has a win and two 2nd places finishes from last 3 starts.
Selection – Grivetana 5yr old Mare out of No Risk At All and Stourza. Has had 7 starts winning twice. Was beaten into 2nd two starts back by First Street going down by 2 and 1/2 lengths, with better underfoot conditions forecast, should be thereabouts again today and is taken to gain another victory at the expense of main threat Nayati who won here last time out.
1.45pm Dolos Handicap Chase
A competitive renewal of a race now renamed after fav Dolos and his excellent record in this contest, but I’m siding with Frero Banbou today. He also boasts some smart form around here with a win and 2 placed efforts from 3 starts at this trip. Despite running with credit this term, he is now dropped down to his lowest mark in almost 2 years, this could be his best chance of getting his head in front once more. He makes excellent each-way appeal here.
3.16pm Scottish County Handicap Hurdle
Lebowski is a very lightly raced 8yo who won twice as a novice last season before being outclassed in Graded contests. He reappeared with a comfortable win at Wetherby in December over this trip and a 7lb rise does not look harsh. He steps up in grade today, but could well be much better than his current mark of 129. Conditions look fine and he must go close here.
1:20 – Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (G1)
Selection: Good Land
Nine runners go to post for the opening race of the 2023 Dublin Racing Festival. Whilst the expected majority of entries are dominated by the Mullins & Elliott stables I like the look of Barry Connell’s Good Land. This horse seems to be held in high regard by his trainer judging by his comments after winning over C&D at Christmas. That day Good Land won by eight lengths from Tag Man but it is the fourth home Embassy Gardens who has really boosted the form by scoring impressively at Thurles next time out, so the form looks very solid. Whilst this is a big step up to a Grade 1 am confident there is more to come from Good Land as this step up in trip to 2m 6f looks ideal for him. I don’t think quicker ground is going to cause any concerns either as he has a sound looking action. This horse could be anything and the market is very positive on his chances today. Every chance in what looks to be the most open of the Grade 1s this weekend.
2:26 – Kachy Stakes (Listed)
I am going to side once again with the evergreen Summerghand as he has done me some good turns on this blog in the past. David O’Meara’s 9yo was better than ever towards the back end of the flat season last year, winning the Ayr Gold Cup was followed by a cracking effort over 6F at Ascot when second to Rohaan. Summerghand rounded off his season over today’s C&D in a listed contest back in November. He found his famous late turn of foot to get up to by a half length going away, in the process beating two of today’s rivals. He is now 2/3 at Lingfield and if he is in the same vein of form as he was in the autumn then Summerghand will take some beating. I’m just hoping that he will get the gaps from the rear of the field as he is a hostage to fortune with his running style. Big shout once again on all know.
2.55 Handicap Hurdle – Class 1 – GBB – 4yo+ – 2m 7f 98yds…
Bells of Peterboro – Carlotomix X Prince of Future 8yo gelding
His last win was in December 202when landing a Class 2 Handicap over 2m 7f at Chepstow & has run 8 times since that day, with 4 runs over hurdles & 4 over bigger fences. This is his 2nd run back over hurdles, with his last start on December 27th, at Chepstow when finishing 2nd by 4 & 1/2 lengths in the race he won in 2021. Very consistent with 4 runs & 4 places this term. Each Way.
3.01 Tandridge Listed Stakes – Class 1 – 4yo+ – 1m 1yd…
Manaafith – Exceed & Excel X Almashooqa 4yo filly.
The only filly in the field & receives 3lb from the boys. Unbeaten in 5 all weather starts, including over C&D in August 2021. Her last start was on January 1st at Southwell in a Class 2 7f Handicap, winning by 3/4’s of a length. Win
That is everything for you today folks…. The BIG Interview is returning!
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Good Luck – The AOLR Team