• Sat 18 May, 2024
  • 21:47 BST
  • 17:47 EST (BST-4)
  • 23:47 CEST (BST+2)

Four to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up four tips at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday. View selections below.

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VALTOR (2.35) has sound prospects in the staying handicap if Ascot survives a morning inspection.

Nicky Henderson’s gelding will find this a shade easier than his last outing over 3m 4f at Taunton, running an excellent third to Yala Enki and Rock The Kasbah. The 11-year-old scored at Ascot on soft ground a couple of seasons ago and may have most to fear from Anthony Honeyball’s duo Regal Encore, winner of this contest in 2018 and third last year on quicker ground, and in-form Jepeck.

Honeyball saddles a leading fancy in the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase in SAM BROWN (1.50), a confirmed mudlark. He had 15 lengths in hand of Dan Skelton’s Knight In Dubai at Haydock four weeks ago and can edge out Pym, an eight lengths winner at Cheltenham in mid-December.

With some firms offering four places each-way (Paddy Power five) in the 15-runner handicap hurdle, David Pipe’s EDEN DU HOUX (3.00) is well worth an interest. He beat a useful novice in Mario De Pail on the nod at Chepstow (heavy), with 24 lengths back to the third, and doesn’t appear over-burdened on10st 13lb. Eden Du Houx was a smart bumper winner and the six-year-old looks the type to develop into a decent handicapper.

Haydock’s excellent card is also under threat but if given the green light YALA ENKI (3.15) should give his running in the 3m 4f Unibet Grand National Trial. He was sent off favourite last year when trained by Venetia Williams but found the ground too quick (sixth) behind Robinsfirth. Paul Nicholls has since taken over the reins and sent him out to score over this trip at Taunton last time following an excellent third in the Welsh Grand National.

Vintage Clouds runs the track well but is up 11lb for his seven lengths success here in the Peter Marsh Chase. Third horse Geronimo was close up in third and enjoys a 12lb swing in the weights. Lord Du Mesnil has been a revelation at Haydock this season and although edging up the weights, he has to be considered along with consistent Elegant Escape (has had wind operation). It would be a pity if the race was lost to the weather.

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