Saturday Racing Preview: The Master Goes Again6 min read
Elegant Escape was a gutsy winner of the Welsh National at Chepstow on Thursday and he is 25/1 with BetVictor to emulate his stablemate Native River and add the Gold Cup to his Welsh National success in the same season. Native River is 11/2 with BetVictor to retain his crown and that looks an each way bet to nothing at this stage with doubts surrounding the wellbeing of Nicky Henderson’s Might Bite while we are yet to see antepost market leader Presenting Percy this season.
The Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle is the feature race at Newbury this afternoon and Champ, the horse named after the great Sir Anthony McCoy, is the 6/4 market leader with BetVictor having scored impressively in a handicap over C&D last time. That form has worked out well with the fourth (Man Of Plenty) and sixth (Padleyourowncanoe) having subsequently taken competitive handicaps, but marginal preference is for Olly Murphy’s Brewin’Upastorm (3.00) and gets the each way vote.
The selection created a very favourable impression when scoring at Huntingdon on his hurdles debut over the minimum trip and today’s additional half-mile should see him in an even better light. Make no mistake this is a top-class renewal of this prestigious contest and Tom Lacey’s Kateson would have got the nod had the ground been soft. Note the official going description was good to soft on Friday afternoon with no rain forecast.
Another Crick (1.15) has been raised 6lbs for finishing runner up to Destrier at Southwell last time with the pair clear and he is taken to go one better in the 2m Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. I remember thinking Cruiseaweigh was a future star when winning his bumper from Elgin at Aintree a couple of years ago, but he has been off the track for the best part of two years and is best watched on his return/chase debut although a market move would be worth noting.
Coeur Blimey (1.50) was pulled out of a race at Wincanton on Boxing Day as a result of travel problems and the hope is that the ground is soft enough for Sue Gardner’s 7-y-old who did us a favour when scoring at Hereford a fortnight ago. Knight In Dubai looked to be going like a winner when coming down for out on his chase debut at Cheltenham back in October. I wonder if connections want to preserve his novice chase status to next term – he remains a horse of some potential for Dan Skelton.
In the last Wenyerreadyfreddie looks to have every chance of landing his hat-trick for Nicky Henderson having beaten a future winner (Kildisart) when scoring at Ascot last time despite jumping out to his left. Today’s conditions should be ideal, but I am convinced Golden Sunrise (3.35) is better than he showed at Uttoxeter on his chase debut when he jumped poorly.
The selection is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first-time this afternoon and looks sure to have been well schooled since his chase debut. He certainly has the scope to jump a fence and at 12/1 with BetVictor he can reward each way support.
Seven De Baune (12.20) made it two out of three under rules when winning at Ludlow (2m 5f) last time when he gave the impression a return to a left-hand track would suit. He is taken to score for Ian Williams and Noel Fehily at Doncaster.
Station Master (1.30) ran into a rejuvenated The Young Master at Cheltenham last time but Kim Bailey’s novice chaser was a good second and he can run off the same mark this afternoon. The selection is 10/3 with BetVictor and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race against these more experienced handicappers.
Ballywood is Evens to follow up his recent Taunton success off a 6lbs higher mark and the form is rock solid with the runner up Capeland having subsequently won at Ludlow. At the odds I prefer Kasakh Noir (2.40) who may not have got home over 2m 4f on his reappearance at Uttoxeter when returning from a long absence. The return to the minimum trip should suit and he looks fair value at 10/3 with BetVictor.
Big things were expected of Enniscoffey Oscar (3.15) over fences this season but he hasn’t taken to the larger obstacles and Emma Lavelle reverts to timber with the 6-y-old who has won both starts at Doncaster.
Seven De Baune