Leicester and Wolverhampton follow wonderful weekend5 min read
A wonderful weekend of racing on both sides of the Irish Sea with Splash Of Ginge a winner of Cheltenham’s feature BetVictor Gold Cup. Two horses who particularly impressed me were Colin Tizzard’s Cheltenham winner Finian’s Oscar ( from 7s with for the JLT at the Festival) and Henry de Bromhead’s Monalee ( from 16s RSA Chase) who made all to make a winning chase debut at Punchestown.
There is overnight rain forecast at Leicester for Monday’s racing who stage a valuable 0-125 hurdle with a number of unexposed types looking to take advantage of what could be lenient handicap marks. I can pass on a good work for Sneaking Budge, but he is returning from more than a year off and is entitled to need the run.
The unexposed French import Pokora Du Lys (1.50) was given a couple of spins over timber for the Skeltons, but was put away following some promising racing at Haydock last December for which he has been dropped 5lbs. He showed enough promise in his native France to suggest he might be able to win a couple of races and the handicapper has given him a chance.
The Beginners’ Chase looks a match between Cultivator (2.20) and Tommy Silver with the vote going to the Nicky Henderson trained runner. The selection made no impression on his first start over fences at Cheltenham but he is a much better horse going right-handed having won three of his five races going clockwise.Tommy Silver is returning to the track just six days after finishing second at Worcester on his chase debut where he looked as if he might appreciate another half a mile. Overnight rain would not be an inconvenience but I just favour the Henderson runner.
Pokora Du Lys
The mare Bold Image made a winning debut when landing a Fontwell Bumper back in the spring and it will be interesting to see if the market speaks in her favour having her first start over timber in the Plumpton opener. The dual Bumper winner Tikkanbar (1.10) made no show at Aintree but can make a winning start over timber for Noel Fehily and Neil Mulholland. The selection only beat five rivals in his two Bumper wins but he is a decent prospect and today’s two-and-a-half mile trip should be ideal.
Keeper Hill jumped well enough on his chase debut when winning a match at Stratford but Benatar (1.40) defied 12st to win an Ascot handicap on his reappearance and looks potentially very smart for Gary and Jamie Moore.
Chef D’Equipe (2.40) was only beaten 3l over C&D on his British debut for Philip Hobbs and it is possible that his jockey made his bid for glory too soon. The selection runs off the same mark today and this French import, and his jockey, are entitled to come on for that experience and it will be disappointing if he doesn’t go close.
Master Burbridge (3.10) landed a hat trick last term and was just sneaking into the race when coming down at Wincanton earlier in the month and he can return to winning ways despite the steadier of 11st 12lbs.
There is also a competitive flat card from Wolverhampton where I hope to see Progressive Jazz (1.30) reverse recent Kempton running with Sauchiehall Street. The selection has improved in recent starts, is well drawn in stall four and is 4lbs better off with Sauchiehall Street the half a length he was behind that rival last time.
Tip: Progressive Jazz