Today was a good enjoyable days racing even if not seeing the highest of calibre, not sure what you can take out of todays racing and use for the festival because of the fast ground, but non the less The Worlds End pleased the eye and reversed the form with Ibis Du Rheu emphatically, he relishes soft ground so is worth looking at for the RSA in March.
Al Dancer was well backed to complete his hat trick of wins from as many races, he’s another that relishes deeper ground, he goes to the Betfair Chase at Newbury next and will be a big player if the handicapper isn’t too harsh.
Synopsis is the last that I would take out of today, she’s another that’s won on testing ground and the way she won off 12 stone on her back, she looked ready for a shot at a big prize.
Cogry needs a honourable mention, he’s looked a winner so many times travelling through his races, but not always the gutsiest of runners, but with the pieces back on today, we seen him at his best and was a delight to see him battle it out to get his head in front on the line, the handicapper can’t be too harsh on him here, but even so, it’ll be hard to find him a race off his revised mark.
Saturday’s final day of the International meet could see totally different viewing if the heavy expected rain hits early enough and could get messy towards the end of the day.
12.10 2m1f Juvenile Hurdle, Class 2
Dr Richard Newland had the winner in the last of the first day and could follow up straight away with KATPOLI, the son of Poliglote a sire to follow, he impressed LTO around the old Cheltenham course in a tough race, this looks much easier.
12.45 2m4f Novices Chase, Class 2
Nicky Henderson luckily has the 2 best horses of the race and looks set for a 1-2, lightly raced OK Corral looks set for a big future but JENKINS has the experience and race fitness on his side, even with a 5lb penalty, he looks the one to side with.
1.20 2m Handicap Chase, Class 2
BUN DORAN looks the easy selection, he won easily over the old C&D LTO with so much more to give, the form of the race has worked out well, he won’t mind what the ground says and the 10lb rise doesn’t look enough to stop him.
1.55 2m4f Handicap Chase, Grade 3
FRODON is another that won’t mind what the going stick says. He won this race 2 years ago and was sensational when winning over this C&D in heavy conditions in January, he was put up 10lb which looked to have stopped him, until a wind op, he since won a strong Grade 2 handicap on season debut, with plenty more to give, which he proved with a huge run off top weight over the old Cheltenham course LTO. The return to the new course is a big plus and if the going does turn heavy, he’ll love it more than any of these.
2.30 3m Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle, Grade 2
Doux Pretender is another from our sires to follow and he’s done nothing but impress since season reappearance, his last win was by a short distance, but he looks to of best a good horse and this further trip will see a further improvement.
3.05 2m1f International Hurdle, Grade 2
The big race looks a tough nut, Summerville Boy easily the best horse in the race, beating Kalashnikov twice last season holds the superior form, but he didn’t flatter on season reappearance, so I’m willing to give OLD GUARD a chance, he won this race 3 years ago with the ground turning soft and has returned this season in good form and knocking on the door, he’ll certainly be winning Graded races this season and this could be his first.
2.40 2m4f Mares Handicap Hurdle, Class 2
This is a dart throwers race, but if I had to choose one, then CHILLI FILLI did impress me the most on run/s this season, however with ground potential bad at this point, she’s just to be watched.