Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Aintree, Chepstow, Doncaster and Newbury. View selections below
The last Group 1 of the 2013 British flat season is this afternoon’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner three times in the last four years and has three of the 11 who are due to go to post with the Curragh winner Century the mount of Joseph O’Brien looking their leading fancy. Pinzolo, Chief Barker and Kingston Hill are all unbeaten and all respected but a chance is taken on Somewhat (3.50) from the yard of Mark Johnston.
The selection wasn’t beaten far in the Royal Lodge by Berkshire last time and didn’t look to handle Newmarket’s undulations too well on that occasion; a winner of the Washington Singer at Newbury previously his high knee action, if not his breeding, suggests he will cope with soft/heavy ground and he gets a sporting vote in a fascinating race.
Racing Post Trophy; prices from BetVictor: EW 1/5 first 3
Kingston Hill 10/3
Chief Barker 7/1
There are two wonderful days racing from Aintree although again we may have to look for horses who will cope with soft ground and it might be a fair test for horses at this stage of the jumps season.
AP McCoy’s five-timer at Carlisle on Monday takes him nearer the milestone of 4000 winners an extraordinary achievement and I like the chances of Ifandbutwhynot (1.55) in the opening handicap hurdle. The selection improved out of all recognition for David O’Meara last season, will love the forecast ground and should enjoy the track. Bob’s World need to brush up his jumping but should be noted in the market.
Walkon must go close in the feature Old Roan Chase but, despite being 5lbs out of the weights, I am going to suggest we throw a few bob each way on Mr Moonshine (3.05) who goes well fresh, will love the ground and at a double-figure price can reward each way support.
In the veterans chase Hey Big Spender (2.30) has dropped to a very favourable mark and can give the weight away for the Tizzard family whose yard are in such good form; further rain is not a concern which cannot be said about many of the opposition.
Regal Encore (5.20) finished runner up in the Festival Bumper and is hard to oppose on his hurdle debut; he is a very exciting horse and it will be a blow to trainer Anthony Honeyball whose string have made such a good start to the season.
At Chepstow I like Kaki De La Pree in the opener although he is going to be a chaser in time and Ballinvarrig (3.00) who was not knocked about on his chase debut for Tom George but has the scope to make a chaser and can run off an opening mark of 117. In a wonderful weekend of jump racing he merits the nap.
The Persian War may not be a top class renewal and Paul Nicholls’ recent recruit Caesar Milan is likely to be all the rage but Lienosus (3.35) trained locally by Evan Williams has been well entered up in recent weeks and can give the likely favourite plenty to think about.
Ballybriggan (2.40) remains very well handicapped and on better ground would be something to bet on in the 2m handicap Chase on Sunday but he goes well fresh, copes with soft ground
At Newbury I like the look of Oxsana (4.05) in the Radley Stakes for William Haggas; the selection didn’t have the best of runs at Newmarket last time having finished runner up in another valuable sales’ race previously. The softer ground ought to suit this daughter of Dubawi and Tom Queally keeps the mount.