Former Talksport man Charlie McCann takes us through Saturday’s cards at Cheltenham and Doncaster. View Selections below
Leading jumps owner Andy Stewart is three-handed as he tries to win his own money in the feature race from Cheltenham the Spinal Research Gold Cup a branch of medicine close to his heart given his son Paul broke his back when caught up in a freak avalanche in the French Alps three years ago.
Paul was advised he wouldn’t walk again but he proved the medics wrong and Stewart has sponsored many races for Spinal Research in the period since the accident including today’s wide-open betting heat.
Ghizao (2.30) disappointed at Exeter on his reappearance but he is a horse who has won on his second start for the last couple of years and at 7/1 with victorchandler.com can reward each way support although he has yet to prove he truly stays 2m 5f.
There are any number of potential dangers including the first three home in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup; Great Endeavour, Quantitiveesasing and Divers. The winner failed to follow up in the Hennessy three weeks later but that was only because his stamina gave way and he rates a big danger even at the revised terms.
The best backed horse this week has been AP McCoy’s mount Sunnyhillboy who has a big pull in the weights with Great Endeavour on last year’s running at the Festival and who caught the eye over hurdles at Haydock on his comeback.
Triumph Hurdle favourite Hinterland (12.10) should maintain his unbeaten record in Cheltenham’s opener despite a 4lb penalty. There was much to like about his recent win here last month and he bids for the same double that the yard’s Sam Winner achieved last year.
I am very much looking forward to seeing Oscar Whisky (3.35) back on the track in the Relkeel Hurdle which closes Cheltenham’s card. I am loath to desert Any Given Day who did us a favour at Haydock last time, but the selection looked to be just getting the better of the argument with Overturn (subsequent winner of the Fighting Fifth) when he capsized at the last at Ascot and he can return to winning ways in what looks a cracking finale.
There is a terrific card from Doncaster where we are sponsoring the two feature races. Ranjaan (2.45) was uneasy in the market, having been well backed antepost for the Triumph, on debut at Newbury but ran well enough to finish second albeit beaten 10 lengths. He is entitled to improve and he can land the juvenile hurdle.
Morning Moment (3.20) is 1lb out of the handicap in the Bet Mobile at Victor Chandler Handicap Chase but his jumping was very good at Haydock last time where the ground (officially good to soft but soft at best) went against Caroline Bailey’s nine-year-old. He is 5lbs higher at Doncaster but as long as the ground doesn’t deteriorate from the forecast good ground he must have a leading chance although there is a nagging doubt he could be better giving weight to inferior animals.
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