Horse Racing ambassador Sam Boswell is back with his racing tips for the day, including a look at the opener at Uttoxeter.
Sprint Cup Stakes (Haydock)
I was looking forward to the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes at Hayodck on Saturday. The Group 1, however, will be missing one of the stars of the season. Roger Teale’s horse Oxted has sadly been ruled out, having not worked well on Tuesday morning. He certainly was impressive when winning the July Cup last time out. In the reformed market, we now have Newbury winner Dream of Dreams out in front. A course and distance winner, he is the 5/2 antepost favourite for the race. Hello Youmzain, last year’s winner, is next in the betting for Kevin Ryan. It still looks a good race and it will be fascinating to see if anything can get close to the favourite.
Apres Le Deluge
The Novice Hurdle at Uttoxeter over 2m4f looks a decent contest. 10 go to to post and the going at the time of writing is currently good. At the head of the weights and likely head of the market is Balagan of Neil King, ridden by Byrony Frost. He has to carry a double penalty in this race, having been successful twice over hurdles, including at Market Rasen last time out, running on well to get his head in front.
For all I respect Neil King’s horse, I’m going to side with Fergal O’Brien’s Apres Le Deluge. Rated a couple of pounds higher and carrying less weight, having won just once at Southwell over hurdles. That run last time out was a nice effort when going off favourite, winning with plenty in hand. The horse seems to be pretty versatile. That win came on good ground and he also won his debut bumper on soft. Any change in the going would not be too much of an issue for this runner.
Fergal has had a good run since the restart and is operating at around a 22% strike rate. Meanwhile, jockey Paddy Brennan has had 6 winners from his last 25 rides. The partnership between the pair always seems to yield good results. With that in mind, I’ll be favouring Apres Le Deluge to get the better of Balagan here.