Another cracking afternoon for this blog last Saturday as the good run continues – and you and me will be hoping that form is back Saturday when ITV show seven races split between Ascot and Haydock.
Let’s get straight to it, and the 13.50 at Ascot is a Grade 2 mares’ hurdle over nearly 3m. Irish raider MAGIC OF LIGHT will be hard to stop here for Jessica Harrington. Not only does she have a high rating compared to most but she stays all day as well and in the conditions that will be key. Her win at Newbury last time was crazy easy and she should follow up.
Next at Ascot is the Grade 3 handicap hurdle over nearly 2m 4f at 14.25. Paul Nicholls has long held PIC D’ORHY in very high regard and this is his chance to show what he can do. In the colours of Cyrname, my hope fell last time but the champion trainer has a twinkle in his eye over this French import.
The 2m 5f handicap chase at 15.00 looks a tough renewal, but I am not giving up on facile Newbury winner BENNYS KING who probably didn’t stay when racing at Wetherby last time. This is a perfect trip for the Dan Skelton runner and he can still have every chance off a revised mark.
We round off the ITV coverage at 15.35 with the featured Grade 1 Clarence House Chase over 2m 1f.
Defi du Seuil is sure to take all the beating after his Tingle Creek win, but this really is a great chance for UN DE SCEAUX to roll back the years one more time. This is his patch, as he has won this race three times for the champion trainer of Ireland, Willie Mullins. There is every chance Paul Townend can get first run on the Philip Hobbs-trained runner, and if so he’ll be hard to peg back.
I’ll give him one more chance at the age of 12 to land this huge pot.
At Haydock, ITV start at 14.05 with the Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over nearly 2m. Alan King loves Aintree winner EDWARDSTONE and he will take some stopping. The hood is on first time as well which might bring about some improvement under Tom Cannon, who has already had a winner since coming back from injury.
The 14.40 at the Lancashire track is the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Handicap over an extended 3m 1f. This is just the type of race that VINTAGE CLOUDS can show us what he is made of. The Sue Smith challenger stays all day and loves to jump these Haydock fences. He was third at the track last time and has every chance for Danny Cook.
And finally at Haydock the 15.15 is the Grade 2 champion hurdle trial over nearly 2m. A small field and Cornerstone Lad should not be taken lightly after his victory in the Fighting Fifth. However, the chances are Triumph hero PENTLAND HILLS will cruise round behind him and pick him up close home.
The selection just got tired at Cheltenham when making his seasonal return for Nicky Henderson. This is his chance to show us what he has got.
You hear me Paddy?
*Prices and entries are correct at time of publishing