We’ve teamed up with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Nicky Henderson will chase a seventh Triumph Hurdle success at Cheltenham next month, but Saturday’s impressive Adonis Hurdle winner Fusil Raffles will be trained for Aintree after he returned from Kempton with a bad cut which will rule him out of the Festival.
Monday’s impressive Plumpton winner Pentland Hills (20/1 NRNB at BetVictor) is likely to represent Seven Barrows and he may be joined in the 2m juvenile hurdle by Adjali, also 20s with BetVictor, who is reported to have worked the house down in a racecourse gallop at Kempton on Tuesday.
In the opener at Newcastle this evening Glan Y Gors has won three of his last four starts and looks sure to continue to run well for local trainer David Thompson. Tommy Hallinan returns from a lengthy lay-off, but he is the pace angle in the race given he often makes the running. The vote goes to Cry Wolf (4.05) who will need a decent test at this trip but looks sure to go close in a competitive opener.
It wasn’t much of a race that Almost Midnight won on debut but David Simcock’s string often improve for their initial racecourse experience and he could hardly have done it more easily. He must carry a 7lbs penalty, however, and the market should provide valuable clues as to what we can expect from the well-bred Mark Johnston newcomer Autumn Pride.
I’m going to take a chance on the stamina of Forest Of Dean (4.40) who improved with each start as a juvenile including when just touched off here over 7f on his last start. John Gosden’s colt has been slowly away from the stalls on all three runs and is taken to go one better in a decent Novice event.
Dommersun is clearly in good form at present and a 3lb rise for last month’s Chelmsford success is fair. Note he has won from a higher mark in the past. Remmy D (5.10) was a winner for Joseph O’Brien in his native Ireland and has made all in gaining his two career successes yet has been held up well off the pace in both starts since joining Jim Goldie.
The stable also saddle Restive – may need further - and the selection’s inexperienced apprentice has only ridden one winner from his 17 rides. If he gets away on terms and is ridden more prominently, however, I feel he can run a big race.
Atholblair Boy has been in good form of late but has never won over this evening’s 7f trip. The hope is that Deansgate (6.15) is less keen than he was here returning from a near two-month lay-off last time. The selection is a duel C&D winner and has run well in defeat from this mark in the past.
Wise Words (7.15) wouldn’t have to be anything special to make a winning debut for James Tate who, at the time of writing, has saddled three winners from his last six runners. The filly is a half-sister to a winner on the all-weather and Luke Morris takes the ride with Oisin Murphy in Meydan.
At Meydan, I hope luck is one the side of Good Fortune (3.05) in the listed Meydan Classic. The selection won over 7f here last month and trainer Charlie Appleby immediately nominated this race as his immediate target.
Buick can double up courtesy of Bruntland (4.15) who lost his unbeaten record when 4th in a Group 1 at Longchamp back in the autumn. The colt is 16/1 at BetVictor for the Ascot Gold Cup and 6/1 for the Dubai Gold Cup back here on World Cup night.
At Kempton this evening, True Destiny (8.30) ran a good race when third returning from a two-month break and wind surgery at Wolverhampton at the beginning of the month. He is taken to build on that effort for Roger Charlton.
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