We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Showers forecast for Haydock Park this afternoon but the ground should be good for a competitive and valuable jumps card.
Taking jockey allowances into consideration, Secret Door (1.25) is 10lbs better off with Card Game for the four lengths she was behind that rival at Market Rasen last time and the Harry Fry-trained mare can reward each way support in the Mares’ Final which opens the card. The selection has only raced three times over timber and is open to considerable improvement; a true run race at this trip on decent ground should suit.
Special Catch (2.00) was out on his feet at Newcastle last time on heavy ground but he jumped and travelled like much the best horse in the race and today’s better ground should suit.
The selection will need a career best to defy his current mark but James Reveley gets on well with the nine-year-old who is another each way recommendation.
Ciaran Gethings takes off a valuable 5lbs from Sykes (2.35) who has been bogged down of late on heavy ground. A winning pointer, the seven-year-old will be going chasing next term but he can give Philip Hobbs, out of luck at Cheltenham, another Saturday winner.
The Dubai World Cup is the richest horserace in the world and the meeting at Meydan sees five Group 1 contests preceded by a trio of Group 2 events. In the Big One California Chrome is bidding to go one better than last year and trainer Art Sherman has suggested he is a 5l better horse this year than last.
The 2014 winner of the Kentucky Derby will have to be, however, with Frosted (5.00) in the line-up for Godolphin.
The selection finished behind the great American Pharoah on no less than three occasions last season but showed improved form when winning in a fast time over C&D last month. He has been well supported in recent days (5/2 from 5/1 with BetVictor) and will certainly make sure the American superstar (13/8 with BetVictor) will know he has had a race. Neither of the principles have a good draw with California Chrome in 11 (of 12) and Frosted in nine.
At Newton Abbot, Knockgraffon (2.40) never got competitive in the Imperial Cup last time but back in Novice company must go well with the step up in trip a plus. Bridget Andrews negates five of the 6lbs penalty he carries for a win at Leicester earlier in the season and he must go close.
One of my flat horses to follow this term runs at Wolverhampton on Sunday when Fatherly Friend (5.00) runs from 3lbs out of the handicap for Karl Burke.
The selection took a fierce hold as a juvenile and the form of the yard is a concern, but I am convinced the ability is there. The market should tell us plenty but whatever the outcome on Sunday he is one to keep on the right side of.
There is a terrific card at Fairyhouse also tomorrow and I hope the excellent Kerry Lee can saddle her first Grade 1 winner with Kylemore Lough (4.15) in the 2m 4f Novice Chase.
The horse has been brought along quietly and skilfully by his astute handler and he can pass this acid test. Outlander is the best of the home challenge but he was just being niggled along when coming down four out in the JLT; if over those exertions he is the one to beat but that is a big if and I go with the English raider.
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