Rivet, put up in this column on both Tuesday and indeed Saturday at both 7/1 and 5/1 for each-way punters in the week, landed a monster gamble for the William Haggas on Town Moor to land the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. The win sealed a fourth consecutive success in Doncaster’s 2yo feature and spoke in glowing terms about a colt that earns quotes of 20/1 with BetVictor for both next year’s classics the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Derby at Epsom.
There were noticeable performances both sides of the Irish Sea with a view to Cheltenham with the Gigginstown pair of Disko (25/1 first show with BetVictor for the JLT Novices’ Chase) and Identity Thief (10/1 from 14s for the Arkle) impressing on their respective chase debuts and the latter looks a potential very smart novice chaser for the excellent yard of Henry de Bromhead.
Lucinda Russell is another trainer to enjoy a fruitful weekend, with One For Arthur to be aimed at Aintree’s Becher Chase after success at Kelso on Saturday and I expect the Arlary House Stables handler to go close with Newton Lad (4.10) in the feature 2m 4f Novices’ Handicap Chase at Ayr. The selection is a point-to-point winner in Ireland and looked a long-term project for connections when scoring over timber at Hexham in the spring. The 6yo failed to follow-up under a penalty on his next start but should now improve now sent over the larger obstacles and should be suited by the addition of a first-time tongue-tie.
Robin Roe earned a quote of 20/1 with BetVictor for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival after bolting-up in yesterday’s Aintree opener and I expect Spiritofthegames (2.00) to carry on the fine form of the Dan Skelton stable in the opening 2m Maiden Hurdle under brother Harry. The selection changed hands for £50,000 after winning his sole point-to-point in his native Ireland and warrants maximum respect on his rules debut.
The Skeltons bid to book-end the card with Seelateralligator in the closing bumper however, she was bitterly disappointing in a Mares’ Bumper last month in Ireland and preference lies instead with Malcolm Jefferson’s Captain Sam (4.40) under Brian Hughes. The well-bred son of Black Sam Bellamy was beaten a nose on his racecourse debut and was backed into favouritism to go one better when disappointing last month at Market Rasen wen only sixth on his seasonal debut. He should strip fitter for the run and gets the nod to shed the maiden tag at the third time under rules.
Donald McCain’s Oscatara (3.35) never went a yard when last sighted pulled-up in a 2m Handicap Chase at Bangor however, freshened up with a break he must go close in his bid to give weight and a beating to his five rivals under regular partner Will Kennedy. The form of his second at Uttoxeter the start before reads well and he gets the nod to score for the second time over fences.
There are four juvenile contests at Leicester where William Haggas’ Contentment (3.45) looks the most exciting prospect and gets the nod to land the 6f Maiden under Ryan Moore. The selection built on the promise shown when finishing fourth on debut finishing second last time out at subsequent Gp 3 Oh So Sharp winner Poet’s Vanity and should shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking.
There’s £20,000 up for grabs in the feature handicap over the extended mile with Luca Cumani’s El Vip (3.15) taken to use his handy weight-for-age allowance to score under Pat Cosgrave. The well-bred colt made a winning debut earlier in the campaign at Doncaster and, despite being a beaten favourite in competitive handicaps at Haydock and Pontefract, has his excuses. With plenty of pace in the race the drop back in trip should help this hold-up type and he looks capable of better still.