Doncaster 12:05 Novice Hurdle
Kalashnikov is unbeaten in two runs, one bumper and a maiden hurdle at Wetherby, in which he was very impressive. He won the latter race by ten lengths, and here it effectively looks like a match-up between him and Irish Prophecy, who won a maiden hurdle at Sandown when gifted a twenty length lead at the start.
Hopefully Irish Prophecy will lead here and set the race up for Kalashnikov, who should be able to beat him from the back of the last.
Newcastle 13:05 Novice Hurdle
Hear No Evil made a winning hurdles debut at Aintree last time. He meets Imperial Eloquence again on 5lbs worse terms here, but should have enough to hold the form.
The fourth in that race, Delire D’estruval, won a listed novice hurdle at Haydock last weekend to frank the form, and this doesn’t look the strongest renewal ever.
Hear No Evil should be very difficult to beat.
Newbury 15:00 Ladbrokes Trophy
American is a horse that has been on my radar for this race ever since the end of last season. He would probably prefer a bit softer ground than he’s going to get tomorrow, but that shouldn’t inconvenience him too much.
He’s undefeated in three runs over fences, the last time out winning – easily – a handicap at Uttoxeter off a mark of 148. He has bumped up 9lbs to a mark of 157. The second, fourth and fifth in that one have all won races recently, so the form is relatively strong and this doesn’t look the strongest renewal.
As long as the ground doesn’t prove too much of a hindrance, he should be very difficult to beat.
Newcastle 15:20 Rehearsal Handicap Chase
Bishops Road was a well-beaten fourth in this race last year but was 10lbs higher then. That was also a stronger renewal, with Otago Trail winning.
Bishops Road loves soft ground and staying in a stamina test, which he’ll get in this one. The last time out he ran off a mark of 144, and also won a Grand National trial at Haydock by nine lengths. He should go very well indeed here.