Monday Racing Preview: Get Ready To Watch A Western5 min read
Rock The Kasbah was a brilliant winner of the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase on Saturday and has been introduced into the betting at 25/1 with BetVictor for the 2019 Grand National. Trainer Philip Hobbs confirmed Aintree would be his primary end-of-season objective.
They go at Plumpton this afternoon and I’m looking forward to the chase debut of Chosen Path but in a tight little handicap I hope Larry (1.00) can build on his Ascot chase debut when he ran with considerable promise. The Gary Moore yard took a number of runners out at Cheltenham on Saturday, but they did win the feature BetVictor Gold Cup courtesy of Baron Alco and Larry gets a narrow vote.
Hoke Colburn (2.30) is chasing a hat-trick and he is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Ludlow last time. Today’s conditional jockey Sean Houlihan rode the selection when he finished third in a selling hurdle back in September, but the 6-year-old has improved for the switch to fences. Dr Dunraven has his first start for Peter Bowen and is one to note stepping up in trip especially if the market speaks in his favour.
At Hereford I am convinced there are races to be won with Pilgrim Soul over timber if she learns to settle. Harry Skelton takes over in the saddle and this represents a drop in grade for the filly, but she went out like a light at Wetherby last time and preference is for Alan King’s hurdling debutante Giving Glances (1.15).
The selection is half-sister to a hurdles winner and was rated in the mid-80s on the level – a stone higher than Pilgrim Soul – and looks sure to have been well schooled for her first start over timber.
Style De Garde (1.45) has had his wind operated on since disappointing in the Aintree Grade 1 Hurdle behind Lalor back in the spring. He makes his chase debut this afternoon for Nicky Henderson and should be good enough to make a winning start over the larger obstacles although one note of caution, he can be very keen in his races.
The handicapper has given top-weight William H Bonney (2.45) a chance in the 2m Handicap Hurdle and this represents a drop in grade for Alan King’s hurdler who has won from an 11lb higher mark in the past. Softer ground would be preferable, but the yard did us a favour courtesy of Lisp at Fontwell yesterday and I would be disappointed if he couldn’t run well from his current mark.
First Figaro (3.50) finished ninth in the Champion Bumper behind Ballyandy in 2016 and has his first start for Venetia Williams in the finale. The selection is now an eight-year-old but had bits of hurdles form in Ireland to suggest he might be able to give the weight to the filly Etamine Du Cochet who will be winning her fair share of races but looked like she needed a stiffer test when runner up at Ffos Las on her seasonal reappearance.
At Kempton there is a £60,000 10f handicap and Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle aboard Western Duke (6.00) for Ian Williams. The selection won over today’s C&D from a 3lbs higher mark last September and the yard couldn’t be in better form having had a double at Cheltenham on Saturday.
Style De Garde
William H Bonney