There’s a mixed bag on ITV this weekend with some big prizes on offer over jumps at Haydock in the Challenger series finals. We’re also on the level at Musselburgh where some familiar names are running for decent prizes.
We’ll start with the Scottish card and the 7f handicap at 1.50pm. I reckon Oisin Murphy is a future champion jockey in the making and thought he was a fair bet for that title this year. However, getting a ban like he did today (April 28 – May 7) won’t help his cause. He rides Roll on Rory on Saturday and this lad will go well for trainer Jason Ward. Old favourite Bertiewhittle can hit the places.
The 5f Sprint Trophy at 2.25pm sets up very favourably for Monsieur Joe and the son of Choisir has a good record fresh. He can get the better of Lexington Abbey in the dash to the line.
Hugo Palmer’s Mazyoun tops the market with Novoman in the Royal Mile Handicap 3pm. However, the danger to both looks to be Rashfords Double. This horse really got going at the back end last year and can keep on improving this season.
We close out proceedings at the Edinburgh track with the 1m 6f Queen’s Cup Handicap at 3.35pm – and I’m looking to go out with a bang.
Two horses in particular have a good record fresh here and they’re double-digit prices. Tim Easterby’s My Reward ran a cracker first time out last year when second at Ripon to Mirsaale, before winning at Haydock. He can do the same off a similar mark here.
Meanwhile, Richard Fahey’s Gabrial the Hero was fourth in the Chester Cup on debut last year after a break. He could be another at a big price to run well.
Jumps fans get their fix at Haydock where quick-ground races are very different to the action we’re used to seeing here through the winter.
Some horses will get a shock as this is a very different ball game now.
The 2m 3f Chase at 2.05pm sees Ballybolley trying to repeat his win here last year. He’s higher in the ratings now but has to have every chance as his last run at Kempton should have sharpened him up. Jonjo O’Neill’s Easy Street will make him work for it though and the stable is in great form at the moment.
Tough to beat
Fort Worth could get the run of the race in the 3m Staying Chase Final at 2.40pm. He has to be held up until late and these truly-run races are just what he wants. Fingerontheswitch will run better than his odds suggest on this better ground.
Barry Geraghty rides the favourite Midnight Maestro in the 2m Handicap Hurdle 3.15pm. Alan King’s runner will be tough to beat off just a 7lb higher mark for winning at Stratford. Nicky Richards’ Caius Marcius could reward each-way backers at a fair price.