Former Talksport man Charlie McCann takes us through Saturday’s cards at Aintree, Chepstow and Sandown. View Selections below
Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase is the big Grade 1 race of the weekend with the Champion Chaser Sizing Europe crossing the Irish Sea for this valuable prize. The horse has been campaigned aggressively over a number of trips in recent times but his best form is on decent ground over 2m and there is the rub. How much rain they have on Friday night is fundamental to the outcome of the race in my opinion.
If it stays dry Sizing Europe is the one to beat but I was very taken with the great Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone (3.05) at Down Royal on his first start for Paul Nicholls and if the ground deteriorates (minimum of 4mls forecast Friday evening) he has as good a chance as any. His stablemate Tataniano is another to consider if the ground remains good in which case don’t be surprised to see Kauto Stone rerouted to Ireland for Punchestown’s John Durkan Chase on Sunday week.are betting ¼ odds all races at Sandown and Aintree and bet on the Tingle Creek:
Sizing Europe: 2/1
Wishfull Thinking: 4/1
Kauto Stone: 6/1
There are two races over the National fences at Aintree and Irish raider Another Palm (2.10) ran a cracker at Cork last time when given a very patient ride by Paul Carberry. The grey has yet to race over Aintree’s unique obstacles but looks well handicapped on his British debut and as a 6-y-o is open to more improvement than most.
Nacarat will be all the rage for the listed Chase but I think there could be a shock and think Master Of The Hall (2.45) could be the one first time out back on soft ground; he took a heavy fall at Aintree back in the spring but has a great record fresh and Nacarat and Tamarinbleu should make the market for us.
I have always been a fan of Knight Pass (12.55) and think he can follow up his recent Exeter win in Sandown’s opener. Trainer Warren Greatrex has his string in excellent form but he needs a stable star; I think Knight Pass could be exceptional.
I have never considered Cantlow (1.25) an out-and-out-stayer and am glad to see Paul Webber bring his horse back in trip to 2m 6f; even that might be too far if the rains arrive. The obvious danger is the Nicholls’ trained unexposed Poungach but he might go off too short a price in what is a very competitive event.
The Henry VIII Chase should go to last season’s Supreme Novice winner Al Ferof (1.55) who was excellent at Cheltenham on his chase debut. The grey is going to be a very prohibitive price but he should enhance his Arkle claims.
I am going to give Tenor Nivernais (2.30) one last chance now that the Venetia Williams stable are in better form; he attracted significant support (and not just from me) when running a poor race at Cheltenham over 2m 5f on his reappearance when the stable were out of sorts and is 2lb lower.
There is a tremendous card at Chepstow where their Novice chase is out of the very top drawer and I like the look of General Kutuzov (2.05) in the 3m handicap chase for Nick Gifford and Plein Pouvoir (3.15) for Venetia Williams. The latter needs soft ground and 2m 4f and although still 8lbs above his last winning mark can go close under his optimum conditions.
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