Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Haydock and Ascot on Saturday.
Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up six tips on Saturday at Chepstow, Lingfield and Sandown. View selections below.
VIBRATO VALTAT (3.30) can provide Paul Nicholls with another big Saturday prize by landing the Pertemps Network Swinton Hurdle on Haydock’s popular mixed card. Opinions were divided over whether Vibrato Valtat would have beaten Nicky Henderson’s exciting novice Sign Of A Victory at Ayr last time, when the runner-up was impeded by a loose horse, but it was still a very smart performance. His earlier third to Baltimore Rock in the Imperial Cup marks him down as a handicapper to follow, especially with plenty of juice underfoot.
HAWKEYETHENOO (3.00) can take full advantage of a class drop in the six-furlong Conditions Stakes. The old boy looked ill at ease around the tight Lingfield bends this winter as Jim Goldie chased a big pot in the all-weather championships. Hawkeyethenoo will be much better suited back on turf and ran a cracker in fourth behind Gordon Lord Byron over course and distance last September in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup. The only fear, with only six opponents, is that the race develops into a messy, tactical affair but stable jockey Gary Bartley, who rode him to victory in the 2011 Victoria Cup at Ascot, will be wise to events unfolding before him on his hold-up mount.
Stablemate WYSE HILL TEABAGS (1.50) should go well at an each-way price in the Pertemps Long Distance Hurdle. He found the trip too short at Ayr last time, staying on in third, but previously had scored quite emphatically from the front when sent over three miles at Musselburgh.
At rain-socked Ascot, CAPTAIN RAMIUS (3.50) will revel in conditions facing a maximum field in the Totescoop6 Victoria Cup. The top weight, a former Ayr Gold Cup winner in the mud, landed the traditional ladies’ race at Ascot over this specialist trip of seven furlongs and his rider takes off 5lb. Bertiewhittle is a regular in these cavalry charges and should again make his presence felt along with Loving Spirit and course/distance winner Don’t Call Me.
RIBBONS (3.15) has always looked a filly with a future and should have derived benefit from a considerate pipe-opener at Kempton. James Fanshawe’s daughter of Manduro should handle testing ground.
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