Rio Quinto Could Follow Up At Ayr6 min read
The most impressive winner at Kempton on Saturday was, arguably, Nicky Henderson’s Adonis Hurdle winner Fusil Raffles who broke the course record in coming home 9L clear of his field on his belated British debut. The juvenile was cut from 20/1 to 6/1 with BetVictor for the Triumph Hurdle (NRNB) in the aftermath of the victory but has been trimmed again to 5s following sustained market support.
Rathvinden landed the BetVictor Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse and is now 14/1 second favourite (from 33s) for the Grand National – last year’s winner Tiger Roll is 12/1 market leader.
At Uttoxeter this afternoon Tanarpino can improve on his recent Kelso run when he was returning from a 236-day lay-off. He might get a soft lead for local trainer Jennie Candlish, but he is 4lbs wrong at the weights and the stable could be in better form.
Crucial Role has broken a blood vessel on two of his three starts for Dan Skelton, Caltaix may prefer softer ground and I am going to take a chance on Rock My Style (4.15) despite the fact that he hasn’t been seen since unseating Jack Kennedy on his chase debut at Newcastle back in November. He made a couple of early mistakes but was getting his jumping together when he pitched on landing when just getting into the race.
The Cashel Man (3.10) was a decent stayer on the level for David Simcock and only went down by a neck to his stablemate Pym – who was conceding 7lbs – on his hurdles debut over 2m 5f. The selection promises to be well served by the step up to three miles and he can break his maiden tag over timber at the second time of asking.
The Cashel Man (3.10)
Rock My Style (4.15)
At Plumpton Versifier (2.00) is improving with her racing especially on better ground and may have hung on at Leicester last time had she not clouted the last. She can race from the same mark today and Harrison Beswick takes off a valuable 7lbs.
Pentland Hills makes his hurdles debut for Nicky Henderson and the 4-year-old is only 33/1 for the Triumph Hurdle despite not having jumped a hurdle in public. He must have been showing some something at Seven Barrows for him to be given an entry to that Grade 1 contest but, he lacks the experience of The Flying Sofa (3.00) who is 150/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The selection must give 9lbs weight-for-age to the Henderson runner, but I thought he ran a cracking race when just touched off over C&D earlier in the month and is taken to go one better.
Brandon Castle (3.30) is unbeaten in two starts over timber and a rating of 130 looks workable for his handicap debut. The selection is 80s with BetVictor for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and will need to run a big race from this mark if he is to line up for the Festival curtain-raiser in just 15 days’ time.
The Flying Sofa (3.00)
Brandon Castle (3.30)
At Ayr Nearly Man has his first start for Alistair Whillans, having left Gordon Elliot since finishing fourth in a 2m 4f bumper last summer. A market move would be worth noting but Elliot brings Western Honour (1.50) across the Irish Sea and he must go close despite carrying a penalty for his Clonmel win in December.
Westland Row is likely to be popular for Elliot in the Novice Chase having looked an unlucky loser when coming down two out at Navan last month. I was taken with the jumping of Rio Quinto (3.20) at Lingfield on his chase debut and hope he can follow up on this better ground. Aidan Coleman keeps the ride and the selection holds entries in the RSA (66/1 NRNB at BetVictor) and NH Chase (40s at BetVictor).
Winning pointer Three Kings makes his debut for Elliot in the 3m Handicap Hurdle and a market move would be worth noting. The vote, however, goes to Fergal O’Brien’s Liosduin Bhearna (4.25) who has improved for stepping up in trip and his second at Chepstow last time was given a boost when the winner – Samburu Shujaa – followed up off a mark of 129 at the weekend. With that in mind the selection should be competitive from a mark of 115.
Western Honour (1.50)
Rio Quinto (3.20)
Liosduin Bhearna (4.25)