Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Aintree, Doncaster, Newbury and Chepstow. View selections
Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Sandown and Chepstow. View selections below
Some wonderful jumps’ action from Aintree this weekend where the feature race this afternoon is the Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase where Uxizandre (3.00) can make a winning reappearance at the scene of his finest hour having won a Grade 1 Novices’ event over C&D at the National meeting back in the spring.
That followed a second place finish in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the booking of Barry Geraghty is a big plus with AP McCoy riding at Chepstow having recovered from his recent shoulder injury. Bold Sir Brian returns from a 554 day absence and is worth bearing in mind for later in the season but the 7/2 at BetVictor for the Alan King runner looks a fair price in an excellent renewal.
On reflection Burton Port (3.40) was never going to take to the National fences but he travelled like a dream in the Bet365 Chase at Sandown last time and can defy a 5lb rise in the Veterans’ event. The selection hasn’t won since April 2010 but that was over C&D and owner Trevor Hemmings’ likes to have winners at his local track. I am surprised that Barry Geraghty, who has ridden the horse to victory on three previous occasions, appears to have been overlooked in favour of Jason Maguire but the latter is a cracking pilot and the Jonjo O’Neill trained 10-y-old can get his head back in the winners’ enclosure.
I have been waiting for the Chase debut of Timesremembered (4.50) for some time and this winning pointer could be a very good Novice Chaser for Emma Lavelle. The selection finished runner up in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury over Xmas and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t see off today’s opposition led by Horizontal Speed another who should improve over the larger obstacles.
At Newbury I am sweet on the chances of Battalion (2.20) in the St Simon Stakes back on soft ground. The selection goes well fresh and connections have been patient with the 4-year-old who was pulled out of the Coronation Cup on account of the prevailing fast ground at Epsom at the 11th hour back in June.
Excellent card at Chepstow and in the Silver Trophy Regal Encore (4.10) could be very well-handicapped from his current mark, having finished runner up in the Champion Bumper in 2013 before a light campaign last season over timber when he suggested there could be a lot more to offer this term. Anthony Honeyball can certainly get them ready first time out and he can give AP McCoy a winner on his return from injury.
The Racing Post Trophy is the last Group 1 contest of the 2014 British flat season and flat looks an excellent description for a below par renewal. The each way selection is Restorer (3.50) an 8/1 chance with BetVictor who will appreciate any worsening of conditions having looked very good at Ffos Las on debut and put behind a modest run on the all-weather to finish second in the Gp 3 Autumn Stakes last time.