This weekend gets us a step closer to the Cheltenham Festival with more ante post clues on show at Ascot, Haydock, Taunton and Navan. We also have action at Meydan, Lingfield and Chelmsford.
The tips for Saturday get started at Haydock in the Rossington Main. This grade two looks an above-average renewal with a few potential Supreme novice winners in waiting ready to enhance their credentials.
Four from the initial nine entered stand their ground. BetVictor ambassador Jamie Snowden saddles Thebannerkingrebel and you can read his thoughts on his course and distance winner here.
As impressive as his seven-year-old has been this season, having to give weight away to his rivals today could just prove a tough task.
With that in mind, it could pay to look elsewhere from a betting perspective for this race. Edwardstone has some seriously hot form in the book; his defeat of Tolworth winner Fiddlerontheroof really stands out. The only real concern will be his lack of experience of heavy ground which he is likely to encounter at Haydock today.
Rock The Kasbah
Taunton’s highlight is the Portman Cup over a marathon trip just shy of three and a half miles.
Whilst top trainer Paul Nicholls has the highest rated in the race with Welsh Grand National third Yala Enki, it is another ten-year-old that I want to be with today.
Rock The Kasbah was a good second last time out at Cheltenham and a marathon trip looks well within his range having finished second in the Bet 365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
The Hobbs team are in reasonable form and can gain another winner here at Taunton.
We get to see last year’s Albert Bartlett winner Minella Indo again over fences at Navan on Saturday.
His seasonal reappearance and first chase start was over a trip too short to be seen at his best. He still ran with great credit but this additional distance today will be ideal to see the RSA second-favourite at his best.
He is ridden by regular partner and BetVictor ambassador Rachael Blackmore who is having a fine season to date.
He is currently 13/2 for the race in March in our ante post market.
Un De Sceaux
Ascot’s big race is the Clarence House chase where we see the Tingle Creek first and second reoppose, with plenty in the favour of Un De Sceaux.
He has become synonymous with this race having been a standing dish in it, winning it twice here and once when it was moved to Cheltenham.
The recent rain will also be in Willie Mullins’ veteran chaser star’s favour over the younger Defi Du Seuil. It looks a match between the pair but with conditions favouring Un De Sceaux, he will be the selection.