* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Gordon Stakes disappointment Al Aasy will almost certainly start favourite for this John Porter Stakes, but there surely has to be a question mark over him having not been seen on track since that July demise. In contrast, WITHOUT A FIGHT went from strength-to-strength last year winning three of his five starts for the Crisford clan – twice on soft ground.
However, his winning run on a faster surface at Redcar earlier in the season gives hope that this son of Battle of Marengo could take another step forward here dropping back down in trip after failing to see out a mile-and-three-quarters last time out at in the Listed Noel Murless Stakes.
There is little doubt that the promising Marown will relish an end-to-end gallop over 3m, but I just wonder whether the drying ground will play against him. That certainly won’t be the case for Tom Scudamore’s charge and the jockey can gain small compensation for the pulled-up effort of Cloth Cap in last week’s Grand National at Liverpool.
This nine-year-old has always looked as though he has wanted a deeper test of stamina, epitomised by DEAD RIGHT’s strong finishing effort at Market Rasen over 2-and-three-quarter miles off a mark of 127. Following his one paced effort in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, the selection underwent a breathing procedure and if that has helped him then he still looks potentially well treated off a rating of 130.
Lincoln fourth Danyah and easy novice winner Troll Peninsula are both open to more improvement in this Newbury Spring Cup Handicap over the straight mile, but they have already been found in the market place. That means the value could be with Ed Walker’s charge MATTHEW FLINDERS.
The combination of soft ground and an extended mile-and-a-quarter was his undoing on his final start last year at York, a track which doesn’t suit every horse, and the son of Siyouni is better judged on his smooth as silk success off a mark of 92 at Doncaster the time before.
The four-year-old travelled with great purpose that day and once Tom Marquand asked him for his effort at the distance, he readily put the race to bed. Ed probably has a 100+ rated charge on his hands here and if that is the case, returned to his favoured sound surface, he should prove hard to keep out of the frame off a rating of 97.
This renewal of the Coral Scottish Grand National doesn’t have an awful lot of strength in depth to it and at what could be a huge price, the Nigel Twiston-Davies charge THE HOLLOW GINGE could well be the each-way answer. I admit his form figures of U4UP hardy inspire confidence, but that fourth place is highly significant as it came in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury behind Cloth Cap.
Going nowhere down the far side for the final time as the leaders pressed on and following some sloppy fencing, he was still well off the pace turning for home. However, the selection really began to motor after taking the final open ditch and was going on very strongly at the finish to be beaten a closing 14 lengths.
The key to his chance here is getting into a better jumping rhythm in the first half of the race and with his stamina guaranteed, a clear round should see him go very close. Of his 22 rivals, I have the most respect for the unexposed seven-year-old Notachance along with the old boy Big River. The first named will appreciate this return to spring ground after going lame on a deep surface in the Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Big River is wrongly regarded as purely being a mud lover. He has bottomless stamina and nothing will be flashing home as well at the 11-year-old if he can stay in touch through the first two thirds of the contest.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
- Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s Punchestown Gold Cup antepost bets
- Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey favour Sir Gerhard in Punchestown bumper
- Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey picks Aintree winner to track at Punchestown