Two jumps meetings in the UK on Sunday with action at Sedgfield where we have a very interesting novices steeplechase and some decent contests at Kempton.
We start off at Kempton in the opening 2m juvenile hurdle at 14.15 where Oliver Sherwood has Paseo who finished a good third at Huntingdon on his debut. He was a real eye-catcher that day and with that run under his belt, can gain a first success over obstacles. Trainer Gary Moore saddles Rafiot and the stable so really well with their juvenile hurdlers. Any market moves should be noted.
In the 2m Listed Hurdle at 15.20 Longhouse Sale met defeat for the first time in a valuable handicap at Market Rasen – and may be happier in a smaller, select field. Birds of Prey won his fair share of races last season, before finishing sixth in a competititve race at Sandown.
Gary Moore’s Touchthesoul was a good second over hurdles in France for David Cottin and is an interesting runner on his British debut over hurdles although he was unplaced on the Flat for his new trainer last month.
However, Jamie Snowden’s Pacify was a highly-rated Flat horse who has run up a four-timer over hurdles during the Summer, since switching to obstacles.
He can continue his winning sequence in this race.
Colin Tizzard’s Lillington won first time up last season and really progressed up the ratings throughout the year. This 2m 2f Handicap Chase at 15.50 is tougher, but with his good record when fresh and a liking for the ground, it looks a good fit.
Tidal Watch represents the father and son team of Jonjo O’Neill and Jonjo Jnr. He had the race in the bag when falling at the last at Newton Abbot and then ran a good second at Kelso to the well-handicapped Theflyingportrait.
It looks a match and Tidal Watch gets the nod over Kempton’s sharper track.
The other 2m Listed Hurdle on the card at 16.25 is a tricky little contest, with some really nice, young horses, in action.
Itchy Feet brings Cheltenham Festival form to the table having been beaten five lengths into third in the Supreme Novice Hurdle behind the winner, Klassical Dream. Grand Sancy has to give weight away to all of these and that looks a tough task and Itchy Feet has already finished in front of him here last year.
Both have to give weight though to Evan Williams’ Silver Streak who has a very good record when fresh and also boasts Cheltenham Festival form, when third to the ill-fated Espoir D’allen in the Champion Hurdle.
Silver Streak will be tough to beat getting weight.
At Sedgefield, the beginners chase over 2m 4f looks a cracker at 15.05. with Windsor Avenue was a ready winner at the track over hurdles and backed up with a good second to Rouge Vif at Kelso.
Western Ryder ran with real credit in some top handicap hurdles last season. His schooling has gone very well, I work with the guys that own him and his trainer Warren Greatrex has been delighted with him.
He should be the anchor leg of today’s bet.
*Prices correct at time of publishing