• Thu 19 May, 2022
  • 02:43 BST
  • 22:43 EST (BST-4)
  • 04:43 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at Newmarket, York, Chepstow and Hexham. View selections below.

Fast ground remains the order of the day at Newmarket despite yesterday’s rain in many parts of Britain. The highlight is a top-class renewal of the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs and the winner is likely to go into winter quarters as favourite for the 2019 2000 Guineas back on the Rowley Mile.

Sangarius is unbeaten in two starts for Sir Michael Stoute and he could be anything, but the best of the home team is likely to be Too Darn Hot (Evens with BetVictor) who was a fluent winner of the Gp 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last time when easily disposing of Phoenix Of Spain.

The marginal vote, however, goes to Irish challenger Anthony Van Dyck (3.00) who lost little in defeat when runner up to Quorto in the Gp 1 National Stakes at the Curragh. The selection (9/2 with BetVictor) had the third horse home Christmas over 4L back in third on that occasion and the fourth home (Mohawk) won the Gp 2 Royal Lodge Stakes stepped up to a mile last time.

The Cesarewitch is the second leg of the autumn double and is a 34-runner handicap over two-and-a-quarter-miles. It is possible that Southern France (8/1 with BetVictor) will make up into a Gold Cup horse next year for Aidan O’Brien and if that is the case he must go very close although a draw in stall 24 is a slight concern.

BetVictor are paying six places each way (1/5th odds) and my two each way selections against the field are Low Sun (10/1 at BetVictor) and Cleonte (3.40) with marginal preference for the latter.

The selection (14/1 at BetVictor) won over 2m at the Shergar Cup when last seen back in August and would have liked a spot of rain but he ran well when fourth behind Stratum (2lbs worse off) over 2m at Newbury and this additional couple of furlongs will suit.

At York  I hope to see Mountain Angel (2.05) played later than was the case at Newbury last time when ran out of it close home having looed all over the winner two out. The 4-y-old is 4lbs higher in the weights this afternoon and at 5/1 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he didn’t reward each way support (4 places).

I was very impressed with the performance of Arrowtown (5.00) at Ayr last time and this six-year-old is in the form of her life at present. If the forecast rain arrives – form on soft or heavy ground reads 22111 – I will be disappointed if she doesn’t run a big race.

At Chepstow Lord Duveen (2.30) will get further in time but he ran two solid races last season over timber and he can put that experience to full use under Richard Johnson. The Novice Chase is invariably won by a useful prospect and Poetic Rhythm has won at this meeting for the last two years and must have every chance on his first start over timber.

Marginal preference, however, is for Master Tommytucker (3.35) who was unbeaten in both starts over hurdles last season for Paul Nicholls and has the scope to make his mark over fences.

At Hexham Heart Of Kernow (2.15) could have been let in lightly for his chase debut for Nigel Hawke who has an excellent record at the track. The selection won both starts at today’s track over timber although he has been off the track for over 12 months.

There is a terrific jumps card at Chepstow tomorrow with the feature race the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle. Paul Nicholls has saddled the winner of this corresponding contest four times in the last decade and his Secret Investor would have been the selection had the forecast not suggested soft ground would be the order of the day.

I am going to take a chance with the maiden Coolanly (3.25) who finished runner up to the unbeaten Vinndication at Leicester on his hurdles debut before finishing down the field at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. Trainer Fergal O’Brien had a couple of winners earlier in the week and the hope is that Coolanly can maintain his good recent run.

Debece (2.50) ran a terrific race over hurdles at Aintree on Grand National Day returning from a long lay-off before falling at halfway on his only subsequent start. He certainly has the scope to jump a fence and trainer Tim Vaughan has also had a couple of winners in the last week.

Carole’s Destrier (4.00) was beaten half a length by this year’s Gold Cup winner Native River when making his seasonal reappearance in the Hennessy Gold Cup of 2016 and he starts this term in a Veterans’ Chase from a 12lbs lower mark.

The selection has lost his way somewhat since that effort, but he ran a cracker in the Bet 365 Gold Cup in first-time cheek-pieces when last seen back in April. The hope is that the headgear works the oracle a second time – the handicapper has certainly given the 10-y-old a chance.

Barney Dwan must go close in the valuable 2m 4f Handicap Chase but Garde La Victoire (5.10) represents the stable of Philp Hobbs whose yard were under a cloud for much of last season but have returned in cracking form of late. The selection is 2lbs lower than when finishing second in the Haldon Gold Cup a couple of years ago when he would have won had he not jumped out to his left.

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Be lucky

Charlie

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