The times they are a-changin! Jumps racing is back with a bang this Friday on ITV with the return of Cheltenham plus a couple of races on the Flat at Doncaster, so plenty to get stuck into. Let’s try and find a few winners.
Coverage gets under way with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle over 2m5f. Ask for Glory will be strong in the market but I’ll take him on with the Paddy Brennan/Fergal O’Brien runner GLOBAL FAME.
My hope has shown a liking for deep ground and stamina should not be an issue. He has shown a fair level of form in defeat at Chepstow and success at Wetherby and while he has a bit to find with a few of these on ratings, he might have more to give.
Next a novices’ chase over an extended 3m. Tough heat to call. Galvin will be popular but I’m excited by the jumps future of MOSSY FEN, who did this column a right favour over hurdles last term.
By all accounts the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner has been schooling well at home and as a point winner fences should not be a problem, although he did fall in his first point-to-point. Sam Twiston-Davies will throw everything at the Leamington Novices’ Hurdle victor.
The first on the Flat at ITV is a handicap over 6f. It’s been a long time since JONAH JONES has had really testing ground to enjoy but he has a win at York off 96 and now he’s down to a rating of 89. That gives him every chance to do well for Ed Walker and Andrew Atzeni and added to that the trainer had a fabulous four-timer the other day. A third at Ascot last time was a fine effort so much have each-way claims.
Now a handicap hurdle over 2m5f. This is wide open! Fix Sun could be anything, but I’ll have a few quid each-way on GOOD MAN PAT. He might be gearing for going back over fences, but when last seen he was a fine fourth at Kempton for Alan King in a decent contest. He runs off the same rating here but has been higher in his time.
Tom Cannon takes the ride and he might go well at big odds.
Another handicap here but this time over an extended 2m6f. Some horses in tremendous form here but surely OCEAN WIND will take some stopping for Jack Mitchell and trainer Roger Teal. My hope is on the hat-trick after wins at Lingfield and Newmarket and of course is proven as a decent bumper performer. Conditions will hold no fear and he stays all day.
And finally at Cheltenham a handicap chase over 2m. Some decent horses in action here, and the race-fit SCARDURA might take some catching off 10st as he will likely go from the front under Sam Twiston-Davies once again. The selection looked in great shape at Newton Abbot last time and while this is a huge step up in class he might just pull it off against some highly handicapped rivals.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
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