The Weekend’s Racing Might Bite6 min read
The Grade 1 Betfair Chase is today’s feature event at Haydock Park this afternoon and I would be disappointed if Might Bite (3.00) did not reverse Cheltenham Gold Cup form with Native River over this flat three miles on good ground.
Native River won an epic duel up the Cheltenham hill back in March, but that success was gained on soft ground over an additional quarter of a mile and King George winner Might Bite (Evens) is a confident selection. Might Bite is 14/1 for the Jumps season Triple Crown (Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup) and I feel the first couple are his to lose although I feel last season’s RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy is a massive threat to both Native River and Might Bite at Cheltenham in the spring.
Kalondra was our selection in the BetVictor Gold Cup last weekend and hadn’t been asked a question when unseating Noel Fehily five out, but he has now failed to complete in his last couple of starts and marginal preference is for Activial (1.15) who receives 7lbs from Kalondra and 4lbs from Vintage Clouds who races in the colours of Trevor Hemmings who loves to have winners at his local track.
Activial looked to find 2m 4f too sharp at Stratford at the beginning of the month on his first start for Tom George but he was very well backed on that occasion and he gets the narrow vote. French import Magic Saint – ex Guillaume Macaire – is another to consider having his first start for Paul Nicholls who has such a rich history at this meeting.
I think Admiral Barratry (1.50) will appreciate returning to a left-handed track having failed to cope with the final bend at Kempton last time – hung left – although he was only beaten a neck. He has bits of form that suggest he is fairly treated off his current mark. He is 11/2 at BetVictor and gets an each way vote.
Vintage Clouds (3.35) has a good record fresh and has run a number of good races at Haydock. I hope he can make a winning seasonal reappearance in the finale for Sue Smith – in the Hemmings silks. Braqueur D’Or did us a favour at Taunton last time and will love the ground but I just favour the Northern challenger.
The form of Cresswell Legend’s (12.55) second to Drovers Lane at Hereford last month was given a boost when the winner scored at Market Rasen earlier in the week and I hope Kim Bailey’s novice can win a competitive handicap at Ascot.
The selection’s three career wins have all come on flat right-handed tracks and I hope to see him go close although he won’t get a soft lead with Like The Sound another who likes to go from the front.
Petticoat Tails (1.30) has had her wind operated on since she finished fourth on her reappearance at Carlisle when finishing weakly. Warren Greatrex believes his mare is fairly treated at present although the same could be said of Perfect Summer who ran a good race on the flat at Newmarket at the beginning of the month.
If The Cap Fits (2.40) finished 7l in front of favourite We Have a Dream in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton and I expect to see Harry Fry’s 6-y-old confirm the form stepping up in trip by almost half a mile. That defeat was only the selection’s second career defeat with the other loss in the Aintree Bumper behind Lalor.
If The Cap Fits
Briyouni (12.50) has been raised 8lbs for scoring at Kempton – well backed – when he was badly hampered leaving the stalls but still came home a convincing winner. The recommendation was a better class to today’s rivals in his pomp and he is still 13lbs lower in the weights than his highest winning mark. If he gets out of the stalls on terms I feel he will be hard to beat.
On Sunday I am going to give Monbeg Gold (1.50) another chance having ran with promise over hurdles coming back from a 500-day lay-off at Uttoxeter last month. The 8-year-old has been dropped another 3lbs for that run and he is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles here at Exeter.