Indiana Jones cost £280,000 at the sales. He ran very well at Cork and I thought he was very impressive that day. It just depends how good Gars En Noir really is. We’re not really sure yet but Indiana Jones might be able to beat him if he still needs a bit of work. They’re two nice horses for the future but Indiana Jones is certainly interesting.
This is an interesting race with a small field but the key here is that Cash Back is getting 8lb off Fakir D’Oudairies and Notebook. His most impressive last year was winning at Naas last year over this course and distance. It was very impressive and he pulverised them that day. Just getting the weight, I think I’ll side with Cash Back here.
I like two in this one, Dinard Rose and Valentina Lady. The one I’ve come down on is Valentina Lady. She’s not the most consistent but her Naas form caught my eye. She was second on bumper debut and then two starts later she won her bumper very impressively by four lengths. She runs today off a mark of 116 and just off the course form I’d have a few bob on her at a fair price.
This is a very interesting race and the on I’m going to take a chance on at a bit of a price is Our Power for Nigel Twiston-Davies. This horse really improved last year with the step up in trip and his best form seems to be over flat tracks. With Paddy paying five places I think Our Power is worth an each way punt.
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I’d side with Real Steel. He’s been a bit hit and miss, but you can’t get away from how well he travelled in the Gold Cup last year. He just fell away from it. He was only a seven year old and you thought this year he’d be one to watch.
I really like Third Wind. All his form has come on soft ground and he’s lightly raced. The form couldn’t be any stronger and I think this track will suit him. He had a lovely reappearance at Newbury where he tired at the last but there’s more to come.
I’m going to side with First Flow for Kim Bailey in this Millionaire Chase qualifying race. It’s a yard in form and he likes soft ground. He ran really well at Sandown last February and has won a few races since. But soft ground, right handed, everything’s in place for him to win the race.
I’d take a chance on Sheneededtherun. She won four in a row with moving to Sam Allwood’s yard. She will stay and she’ll handle soft ground, I just hope Sheneededtherun doesn’t need a run.
Frank Hickey’s tips for Saturday
12:30 Naas – Indiana Jones
13:02 Naas – Cash Back
13:37 Naas – Valentina Lady
13:50 Haydock – Our Power
14:05 Ascot – Real Steel
14:25 Haydock – Third Wind
15:17 Ascot – First Flow
15:35 Haydock – Sheneededtherun
Top tips for the Millionaire Chase qualifier
It’s the second qualifier for our New Year’s Day sweepstake where Paddy will be giving away £/€1 MILLION.
- Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s punts for the race at 15.17
- Paddy’s punting panel reveal their selections
- Our runner-by-runner guide to the big race at Ascot