We kick off Saturday’s action from Warwick with a 3m Novice Chase at 13.50 where Highest Sun is your likely favourite. It’s for good reason too as his form is strong having just gotten outpaced by Pym at Ascot, before making no mistake at Plumpton.
If Roll Again’s fall at Kempton has not left its mark – he could be one for the places. He is guaranteed to stay the trip after his demolition job at Ludlow the time before that.
This track is one of the toughest tests of jumping there is for a novice and it could come down to who jumps better. For that reason, Highest Sun is the selection.
Irish raider Decor Irlandais has racked up a few wins in the UK for trainer Noel Kelly and this 2m 5f Novices hurdle at 14.25 has been won previously by Irish-trained horses.
The Royal runner, Keen On, beat Protektorat at Sandown two runs back. That one was in the news this week for losing a race in the stewards room at Cheltenham, but subsequently won it back on appeal.
Harry Senior gets better with every run and some of his form reads well as Edwardstone, who beat him at Aintree, has also beaten Fiddlerontheroof.
I’ll take a punt on Keen On being strong enough to triumph here.
If Ben Pauling’s yard was having more winners I would be really keen on Le Breuil in the 3m 5f Handicap Chase at 15.05 where Paddy is paying the first 5 home.
His form is strong and he ran a lovely race at Aintree. Impulsive Star and Crosspark may find the ground too soft, but their form stands up to scrutiny, while Kimberlite Candy is in here with a chance.
However, The Conditional has run some good races this season including when winning on hevy ground at Cheltenham and running second in the Ladbroke Trophy.
His form is too hard to ignore and he gets the nod.
The trick with the 3m 1f Pertemps qualifier at 15.35 is not to win a qualifying race if you want to win the final! However, if you are rated less than 134 you’ll need to win to get into the ‘final’ at the Festival in eight weeks as that was the lowest mark that got into the race last year.
Tedham (rated 132) ran a good race last time when outpaced at the wrong time at Haydock. This will be right up his street. Gordon Elliott’s Its all Guesswork is another who merits consideration and the jockey booking of Richard Johnson catches the eye.
The action at Kempton starts with a Grade 2 2m 4f Chase. Top Notch has a little to find on ratings with Frodon, but I worry that the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon will be a sitting duck for Top Notch, like Black Corton was last year.
If Frodon jumps well he will serve it up to Top Notch, but he has not jumped as fluently this season. That is the key to winning this.
In the Listed 2m 5f Lanzarote Hurdle at 14.40, there are plenty in with chances.
Notre Pari was an impressive winner at Aintree and his trainer Olly Murphy is in flying form recently. Burrows Park could still be improving for Ventia Williams and looks dangerous.
However, Burrows Edge was placed in this contest last year behind Eric Le Rouge and with the ground a little slower this year, he can win it.
The final race that ITV show is the 3m Handicap Chase at 15.15. On The Blind Side loves running in a small field and with just a maximum of seven other runners, that is what he has here.
He will be hard to beat.