* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
The pressure is on after the blog banged in seven winners from eight selections last week!
So ITV Saturday gets under way here with a Grade 3 handicap chase over an extended 2m4f. This is the big chance for SPIRITOFTHEGAMES to bounce back to form for trainer Dan Skelton and jockey Jack Andrews who takes off a crucial 5lb. That effectively takes my hope’s mark down to 132 and remember he was a fair ninth of 19 behind Midnight Shadow in the fabulous Paddy Power Gold Cup off 144. He was an eye catcher that day as well. He might just be a corking eachway bet.
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Now one of the big ones, the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase over an extended 3m1f. CHANTRY HOUSE really should take this for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville if anywhere near his Grade 1 Aintree winning form. He was obviously pulled up when last seen so there is a doubt, but he’s the class act and should get back to winning ways. Cheekpieces on.
Another Grade 2 here in the Cleeve Hurdle over 3m. Good ground is the key here and that is massively in the favour of CHAMP who should be another for Nicky Henderson and Jonjo O’Neill Jr takes the mount. In soft or heavy ground I might have fancied Paisley Park to gain Long Walk revenge – but Chanp is likely to travel too well for this lot. Wants to settle early.
This is a Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle over an extended 2m4f. It’s Nicky Henderson again for me here with BALCO COASTAL getting a crucial 5lb from Hillcrest. Admittedly weight won’t matter to the latter as he is a giant, but I suspect Balco Coastal is a better horse after two fabulous wins at Huntingdon and Ludlow. He wasn’t amazing in the bumper sphere, but is going the right way and has the excellent Nico de Boinville on top.
ITV are also at Doncaster Saturday starting with this Grade 2 mares’ hurdle over an extended 2m. MIRANDA has to give weight away but this should be a simple task for the champion trainer Paul Nichols’s challenger with Bryony Frost up. Ran well at Wetherby and was a good winner at Ludlow last time.
Grade 2 again here in the River Don Novices’ Hurdle over an extended 3m. MY BOBBY DAZZLER stays well and might be good enough for trainer Mel Rowley and jockey Alex Edwards. A good fourth at Cheltenham a few runs ago, my hope has since won at Aintree and gone back to Cheltenham for a other fourth. Stamina might be his forte here.
A competitive handicap chase over 3m. Just five runs ago CAP DU NORD ran a terrific fifth behind Potterman at Sandown off a mark of 140. He is now down to 129 after a poor effort at Kempton last time. Prior to that, though, he’d run all right at Wetherby and he must have eachway claims for trainer Christian Williams and jockey Jack Tudor who takes off 3lb.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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