Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six selections at Ascot, Haydock and Lingfield on Saturday.
It could be a real slog in the Haydock Park mud for Saturday’s feature the first Grade 1 of the British jumps season the Betfair Chase and, in the conditions, I suggest we throw a few quid on Cannington Brook (3.05) at 25/1; the selection was a much bigger price earlier in the week and should not be backed at much shorter but he is guaranteed to go in the ground, has won both starts over C&D and ran so much better than his finishing position would suggest at Ascot on his reappearance.
The Tizzard stable remain in cracking form and I have followed the career of this lovely looking 8-year-old for some time; he is not in the same class as the big two Silviniaco Conti and Long Run on decent ground, and it is possible that he will just be outclassed but the ground is the key and at 25/1 has conditions very much in his favour.
Silviniaco Conti (9/4) looked a future chasing star at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall but his ability to cope with heavy ground has to be taken on trust; trainer Paul Nicholls has been carrying all before him in the big Saturday races so far this season and he looks the danger despite a former Gold Cup winner being in the field.
Long Run wasn’t at his best last season and at 6/5 has to show he is back on top form before he can be considered as a betting proposition; Nicky Henderson has had a few reverses so far this season but the noises coming out of the yard are that he is back to his very best.
We have a number of specials at BetVictor surrounding the big two in the race and their subsequent targets for the season and bet:
Long Run to win:
Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup: 25/1
Betfair Chase and Gold Cup : 12/1
Betfair Chase & King George: 6/1
Silviniaco Conti to win:
Betfair Chase, King George & Gold Cup: 100/1
Betfair Chase & Gold Cup: 25/1
Betfair Chase & King George: 20/1
Rowe Park (2.25) has never won beyond the minimum trip and ran a cracker when just collared close home over 6f at Lingfield last time; the 9-y-old has long been the apple of trainer Linda Jewell’s eye and three of his 11 career wins have been over Saturday’s C&D; he has only been put up 1lb for his latest effort and can show his younger rivals a clean pair of hooves.
Florafern (1.40) was kept away from very soft ground last winter and the hope is that conditions don’t get too testing at Ascot especially carrying so much weight although she got on very well with her conditional Thomas Garner at Worcester when making a winning comeback; raised 8lbs for that success she could still be well-handicapped and Oliver Sherwood’s horses have been running well this term.
Whatever the fate of Nicky Henderson’s Long Run the hope is that Oscar Whisky lands the Coral Hurdle due off at 2.45; the selection fell at the last in the corresponding race last season when looking to have the measure of Overturn and can run down Get Me Out Of Here who has shown improved form since being stepped up from the minimum trip.
Back at Haydock Lie Forrit (2.00) has always looked as if he could be a very decent horse over fences but his comeback at Kelso was bitterly disappointing; he looks very well handicapped off his current mark and he can take the 3m handicap chase before going on to bigger things this season.
Boston Bob is due to make his chasing debut this weekend either at Gowran Park (Sat) or Navan (Sunday) although it is possible he will go straight to next weekend’s Grade 1 Drinmore Chase without a prep; held in very high regard by Willy Mullins he is one to follow this season all the way to Cheltenham and the RSA Chase.