Windsor Avenue Has Strong Claims At Sedgefield6 min read
Altior took his unbeaten record over obstacles to 17 (12 out of 12 over fences) when easily winning the three-runner Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday. Nicky Henderson’s stable star remains 4/9 to retain his Champion Chase crown at Cheltenham in March.
Henderson reported on Friday that a couple of his horses had scoped poorly including Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite, Angels Breath who missed an engagement at Haydock. The yard still saddled the winner with Mister Fisher who was cut from 12s to 8/1 to take the Festival curtain-raiser. Note the Lambourn handler saddled five horses on Saturday – four winners and a second suggested the stable were not all out of sorts.
Henderson saddles Laskadine (1.00) in the Warwick opener and she is taken to make a winning British debut. The filly won a listed juvenile hurdle at Auteuil back in September and was bought privately in the interim period by JP McManus. Note the selection is currently 25/1 for the Triumph Hurdle.
I feel there are races to be won with winning Irish pointer Plus One over fences, but I have my doubts whether he is a thorough stayer and he is overlooked returning from a two-month break in the 3m 2f Handicap Chase. The each way vote goes to Newtown Lad (2.05) who shaped promisingly on just his second start for Michael Scudamore when third at Newcastle last time despite not jumping as well as he can.
Shantou Flyer (3.45) has been take out of a couple of races on account of the drying ground in the last week or so, but time is running out if connections want to qualify for the Foxhunters’ Chase at Cheltenham. The hope is that the forecast good to soft ground does not dry out too much. Cousin Pete and Double Ross will ensure he doesn’t have things his own way in a good Hunter Chase.
Newtown Lad (2.05)
Shantou Flyer (3.45)
At Sedgefield the maiden Domestic Diva (1.15) is bred to improve over fences – half-sister to a couple of point winners – and shaped with encouragement in her first start over the larger obstacles when a close third at Catterick.
Richard Johnson travels to the north east and Ingleby Hollow (1.50) can land the Maiden Hurdle having run well on his return to hurdles when third at Wetherby earlier in the month. David O’Meara’s 7-y-o certainly has the scope for the winter game and will get further in time, but this looks a decent opportunity.
Hill Sixteen will have his supporters in the 2m 4f Novices’ Hurdle but I have not given up hope in Windsor Avenue (3.30) who finished fourth in a decent race at Newcastle last time but was beaten less than a length and the runner up (Beakstown) has subsequently won in Grade 2 company. The selection must give 6lbs to Hill Sixteen, but I feel he is up to it.
Domestic Diva (1.15)
Ingleby Hollow (1.50)
Windsor Avenue (3.30)
A twilight card at Wolverhampton and Uncle Jerry is interesting in the 5f handicap dropping back to the minimum trip for the first time since his racecourse debut back in May. My two against the field, however, are Wedding Date and Lorna Cole (4.50) with preference for the latter who ran a good race from a poor draw over C&D on her penultimate start. The filly has since scored at Newcastle and William Muir’s three-year-old has won two of her three starts to date.
Kinver Edge (5.25) ran a race full of promise when fourth, despite showing signs of greenness at Chelmsford, on debut when beaten less than a couple of lengths. Adam Kirby keeps the ride and it is interesting to see Kirby getting so many rides for Charlie Appleby of late with William Buick currently suspended and James Doyle out in Meydan for the Carnival.
Lorna Cole (4.50)
Kinver Edge (5.25)