No Altior, but another busy day on ITV Saturday with seven races split between Warwick and Kempton.
This column has been in tremendous form of late, so let’s try and keep the good run going and we’ll start at the Surrey track for the first of three live races with the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase over an extended 2m 4f at 14.05.
With Altior out this is a competitive fields despite the numbers. If FRODON is going to bounce back in the near future then this is it.
I think Top Notch is very beatable.
Frodon was below par in his last two starts at Aintree and Haydock, but if back to his Ryanair form will take some stopping and this is his trip. I will nap him and hope the champion trainer Paul Nicholls – the handler of Silviniaco Conti – has worked his magic.
The 14.40 at Kempton is a Listed handicap hurdle over 2m 5f. NOTRE PARI for Olly Murphy but he’s the stand out for me. A good winner at Aintree last time off 122, he’s up 8lb here but looks very worthy of the rise in weights.
And finally at Kempton a handicap chase over 3m at 15.15. ON THE BLIND SIDE might be good enough here to carry topweight to victory. Trained by Nicky Henderson, my selection has to shoulder 11st 12lb but his effort at Ascot last time suggests this is possible and the distance is no issue.
There’s four races at Warwick starting with the Grade 2 novice chase over 3m at 13.50.
This is a tough heat to call, but I’ll take a chance strong stayer HIGHEST SUN is getting his act together now. He only won a two-runner race at Plumpton last time, but he jumped fairly well and stayed on strongly for Colin Tizzard. Robbie Power did this column a favour last week and hopefully there’ll be more of the same.
Next at Warwick is the 14.25, a Grade 2 novice hurdle over 2m 5f. I’ll take a chance here that MOSSY FEN is better than we saw last time at Cheltenham. The point-to-point winner trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies will struggle on that effort, but prior to that he had looked useful at Aintree and when I was working at Worcester.
The 15.00 at Warwick is a 3m 5f handicap chase with Grade 3 status. IMPULSIVE STAR is a few pounds higher than winning this last year, but you have to think after some shocking efforts if he is every going to bounce back to form this will be the day.
The Neil Mulholland runner is a decent handicapper on a going day so I will have a few quid on each-way.
And finally at Warwick a handicap hurdle over 3m 1f at 15.35 which is a qualifier for Cheltenham so winning is not always a good thing! DIOMEDE DES MOTTES was a bit disappointing last time, but prior to that he had been progressive for the Skeltons and he’s a strong stayer with a good racing weight.
I will back him each-way at a double-digit price.
So best of luck – you hear me Paddy?