Last week I wasn’t happy with the attitude of trainer Hugo Palmer questioning the authorities searching his team at Ascot in order to ensure fair play. In fact, all the major trainers need to come out and say they want regular policing of the sport so we don’t encourage the cancer that has riddled the world of cycling and athletics.
Rant over – let’s get on with the action.
Saturday’s racing has something for everyone and of all the races on offer I am very keen on DANCE KING in the opener at Doncaster (1.35pm).
This six-year-old last won off a mark of 81, but taking into account Rachel Richardson’s 3lbs claim, the selection is set to race off a rating of 80.
The other factor in their favour is that the selection stays further than the extended 1m 2f trip here and with plenty of pace elements in the race I expect him to be cutting back the leaders inside the final furlong and a half.
He is preferred to course and distance winner American Artist and the lightly-raced Banditry and kick-starts our each-way Lucky 15 for this weekend.
Add SULTAN BAYBARS (Newbury 1.45) at a double-digit price to your betting basket in what looks a competitive renewal of the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes. Roger Varian’s charge is held in quite high regard by his handler and hosed up on his maiden at Kempton Park.
Of course this is a different ball game, but the son of Invincible Spirit is reported to have come on a bundle for that experience as he must do to give the likes of Rodaini (disappointing in the Autumn Stakes) and the unexposed The Grape Escape.
And then there were three, with GRATZIE in the Newbury 2.50pm. Mick Channon’s runner has been crying out for a step up to 1m 2f and although this looks a hot race with plenty of strength in depth, his big price will more than make-up for that. Second-fav Imperial Aviator is feared.
And anchoring this week’s bet we are off to Cheltenham for the Showcase meeting. I am going to go out on a limb price-wise and support THREE WAYS in the staying novice hurdle at 2.25pm.
Jamie Snowden’s charge will relish this lung bursting trip and may surprise sexier rivals form-wise from the bigger yards.