• Tue 23 Jul, 2024
  • 13:18 BST
  • 09:18 EST (BST-4)
  • 15:18 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with three to follow on Saturday at Doncaster and Lingfield. View selections below.

Nicky Henderson reported on Friday morning that his mare Epatante – the antepost favourite for next month’s Champion Hurdle – had coughed a number of times this week although he suggested she was well in herself and it had not interrupted her preparation for the feature race on the opening day of the Festival in 10 days’ time.

Benie Des Dieux is the new market leader at 5/2 with BetVictor – Non Runner No Bet – although trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci will need to supplement their mare if they wish to go down the Champion Hurdle route and not the Mares’ event later on Tuesday week.

At Doncaster I hope to see Blackjack Kentucky (1.50) follow up his facile Chepstow success as he makes the transition into handicaps for Paul Nicholls. The trainer reports his seven-year-old – 3/1 at BetVictor – will go chasing next season and is considered a potential Welsh National type going forward. This afternoon’s soft ground should hold no terrors.

There is plenty of pace in the 2m Handicap Chase and, from the foot of the weights, I hope to see Katpoli (2.25) take advantage of the weight he receives from the principles. The selection did not get home over an additional half-mile at Warwick on his last start and I hope leading conditional Charlie Hammond can get the five-year-old into a nice jumping rhythm.

At Lingfield Park I’m looking forward to the reappearance of Sun Power (3.10) in the listed Spring Cup which seems a bit premature in this cold and wet leap year. The selection disappointed on his last start at Kempton back in the autumn but he finished fourth in the Chesham Stakes behind the unbeaten Guineas favourite Pinatubo at Royal Ascot and represents the inform Richard Hannon yard. I hope jockey Silvestre De Sousa can get his mount off the rail from stall one as you don’t want to race down the far side at Lingfield in recent meetings.

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