Former Talksport presenter Charlie McCann marks your card at Doncaster (including the RP Trophy) , Aintree (Saturday and Sunday) and Chepstow.
A cracking weekend of racing under both codes and with rain predicted across the country on Friday evening it is difficult to predict the state of the ground at Doncaster, Aintree and Chepstow who all stage excellent cards.
The lightly-raced Harry Patch (1.55 Don) hasn’t been out the frame in his five starts and is open to further improvement especially if the forecast rain arrives. He hasn’t run over 5f since his winning racecourse debut and it is hard to know until racing whether his draw in stall 3 is a help or hindrance but in an open race he must run well especially with front-runner Judge ‘n Jury to take him along in stall 7.
Casamento (2.55) has been friendless all week in the run up to the feature event the Racing Post Trophy having opened up at 7/4 and at the time of writing out to 11/4 with StanJames.com. The horse is trained in Ireland by Michael Halford for Sheikh Mohammed but is likely to race in Godolphin Blue next season. Frankie Dettori takes over for the first time and he was a most impressive winner of the Beresford Stakes last month.
Racing Post Trophy: place terms: 1/4 the first 3
10-3 Dunboyne Express
11-2 Master Of Hounds
7 Native Khan
15-2 Titus Mills
Native Khan is unproven on soft ground but looks the best of the British challenge, but Casamento is taken to give Dettori a second win in the final Gp 1 of the 2010 flat season.
Junket (3.30) gave the impression an additional furlong would suit when she broke her duck at the second time of asking at Windsor earlier in the month. Her young jockey Ryan Powell cannot use his whip in this “hands and heels” final but the hope is he can coax further improvement out of the selection whose success was gained on soft ground. Unexposed Safwaan is considered a big danger for leading connections who also have the considerable assistance of Adam Beschizza in the saddle.
Aintree stage a cracking two-day card and Monet’s Garden has won the Old Roan Chase twice in the last three years, but he’s almost old enough to vote and is overlooked despite the fact his fast fluent jumping is always an asset across the tricky Mildmay fences. Tartak (3.25) hasn’t won since landing the novice chase here 18 months ago and blundered his way around behind Monet’s Garden in the corresponding race last year, but he ran a cracker when btn 5l behind Albertas Run in the Melling Chase back in the spring and meets the winner on 15lbs better terms today.
Medermit makes his eagerly awaited chase debut for Alan King in the 5.10 and the grey ought to cement his place at the head of the market for the Arkle for which he is currently the 8/1 favourite with StanJames.com.
The Silver Trophy at Chepstow looks a cracker and Any Given Day (4.10) has the assistance of promising 7lb conditional Henry Brooke for Donald McCain. The grey may not have quite got home over an additional couple of furlongs last time, but that Kelso race ought to have put him spot on for this valuable event. Restless Harry would be one to consider if the ground turned soft whilst Duke Of Lucca is very highly regarded by the very much in-form Hobbs’ yard.
On Sunday “talking horse” Franklino (2.10) makes his British debut for Alan King in the opening juvenile hurdle and connections will be bitterly disappointed if he doesn’t make a winning start.
Adams Island is considered a potential star by Rebecca Curtis but the nap of the weekend is Cool Friend (2.45) despite the fact that she has finished runner up in her last five starts. She kept bumping into one too good last season and it is possible that Adams Island will maintain that sequence, but she is an excellent jumper of fences and Adams Island may need 3m to be seen at his best.