It’s another action-packed Saturday of racing as we head to Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton for a tantalising triple-header on the turf.
At Ascot, the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase is the feature, as the Paul Nicholls trained Cyrname looks to bounce back from his below-par effort in the King George last time out.
Up at Haydock, Grand National pointers could be in evidence as the annual trial race for the big day is one of the features, along with the Rendlesham Hurdle.
Meanwhile, at Wincanton, the Kingwell Hurdle takes centre stage.
An open-looking renewal with plenty of potential on show despite the small field.
Previous course and distance Demachine has to be respected for the excellent Kerry Lee and a recent wind opp could bring out a bit more progression.
Full Back and Remastered are unbeaten in their last 2 starts so it’s hard to gauge how much they still have to offer and should be respected.
That said and with this having an open feel to it a chance is taken on Kalooki bouncing back to the form he showed at Newbury in a grade 2 back in November.
He will need to jump straighter than he has on occasions but it looks interesting connections have chosen to run here.
Conditions should be fine based on his second in a grade 2 hurdle at Haydock and it`s unlikely we have seen the best of him yet.
2.25 3m (2m7f180y) “My Oddsboost” On Betfair Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
In what hopefully will be a good 30 minutes or so for the Hobbs/Johnson partnership Jerrysback is a confident selection to do the business.
A horse who doesn’t seem to take much racing he put in a promising effort when a 5 length third here over a shorter trip last time.
He should be sharper for that outing after another lay off and this step up in trip looks more likely to be in his favour.
Yalltari has slipped down the weights to what looks a fair mark now and could have a race in him soon but this looks a tougher race than when fourth here last time.
Regal Encore loves Ascot with form figures of 3-2-1-3-1-3, he is likely to be thereabouts once more despite his advancing years.
Selection: Jerrysback (Nap)
3.00 2m3½f (2m3f58y) Betfair Cheltenham Free Bet Pot Builder Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)
The key form here could be the race here recently in which Arrivederci and Kateson finished second and third.
That was under similar conditions and despite the former looking to have a bit more scope than the Tom Lacey runner, it’s the mare who is preferred at what looks a fair each-way price.
Kepagge needs to bounce back from a couple of below-par efforts this season but he may have valid excuses for both those efforts and is interesting dropping in trip.
Gladiateur Allen lacks experience with just the three starts but that makes him open to plenty of improvement and connections have seen plenty of success with similar types previously.
Selection: Kateson (Each Way)
Dashel Drasher maintained his unbeaten record here at Ascot last time when beating the reopposing Bennys King but needs to take another step forward.
Riders On the Storm was somewhat of a fortunate winner of this last season so it looks like a race in which Paul Nicholls once again holds the keys to.
Cyrname needs to bounce back from that below-par run in the King George but prior to that looked better than ever when winning the Charlie Hall Chase.
Course figures of 1-1-1-F add further confidence and if anywhere near his best is expected to have the measure of stable mate Master Tommytucker
A few if`s and buts about a few in the line-up. Itchy Feet switches back from chasing and is also untried over this type of trip.
The Olly Muphy runner has the class to be involved but comes with risks still at this stage.
On The Blind Side is another who has switched back from the larger obstacles and has been well placed by connections recently, he should run his race once more but this is tougher and I’m not convinced these are the ideal conditions for him to be seen at his best.
Last season’s winner Emitom needs to bounce back from a couple of below-par efforts over fences himself. He arrives here a fresh horse though having had a nice break since and we know that last season’s stayers hurdle fourth will be staying on strongly come the finish.
Last season’s Stayer hurdle winner Lisnaghar Oscar can’t be discounted if bouncing back to that type of form after a recent wind operation.
2.40 3m4½f (3m4f97y) William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
A wide-open-looking renewal where plenty arrive in good heart. Notachance is lightly raced stayer who should run his race he is 2 from 2 over the large obstacles this season but a 7lb rise and a tough race last time out dampens enthusiasm this time.
Sojourn showed his liking to this type of test when a good winning at Carlisle in November, he followed that up with a good second in the Tommy Whittle and is expected to build upon that once more here.
Enqarde is another lightly raced chaser who should have more to offer. Welsh National second The Two Amigos completes the shortlist he will be well suited to conditions once and should be thereabouts despite another increase in his mark.
Selection: Sojourn (Next Best)
Many eyes will be on Goshen in his attempt to return to the form he showed when having the triumph hurdle in safekeeping before the mishap at last season`s festival.
He will be a tough opponent to Song For Someone but it’s the Tom Symonds trained runner who is expected to come out on top.
He has an excellent win record over hurdles and sometimes seems to not get the full credit he deserves for his successes.
He showed himself in great heart when winning the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and the ultra-consistent type should be hard to beat once more.
Selection: Song For Someone
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