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ITV Saturday gets under way here with a mares’ handicap hurdle over an extended 2m5f. There are some promising types here but SABRINA is the eachway selection for Paul Nicholls and Freddie Gingell who takes off a massive 10lb. My hope stays well and is fit after a spin at Newton Abbot in October. She might not be good enough but has place claims at least.
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ITV also go to Doncaster on Saturday for this Listed race over 6f. ART POWER goes in soft ground and while this is bottomless he should be hard to stop after a fair run at Ascot for David Allan and Tim Easterby. Won well at the Curragh two runs ago.
ITV are also at Aintree for this handicap hurdle over an extended 3m. A very tough heat with a load of chasers chucked in to try and get qualified. I’ll putting up ASHTOWN LAD as he goes back hurdling for Dan Skelton. The excellent Harry Skelton takes the ride on a horse who stays and at the age of eight might still have more to give.
This is a Grade 2 novices’ chase over 2m4f. I’ve always thought class hurdler MCFABULOUS was built like a chaser and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t score here for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden. He has some top class form to his name and while connections go fencing quite late I hope he will be too good for the decent Sebastopol.
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Another Listed event here for fillies and mares over 1m2f. SOMETHING ENTICING went close in this last year when rated much lower and in the ground ratings might not count for much. The Andrew Balding-trained runner stays well and goes with juice in the ground so might keep going when others have had enough. Eachway claims under David Probert.
Now the Badger Beer Handicap Chase over 3m1f. Frodon adds some spice to this. I’ll have a few quid eachway on last year’s fourth CAP DU NORD for Christian Williams and Jack Tudor. My selection is 3lb lower here than twelve months ago and will have blown some cobwebs away with a run at Chepstow in October.
This is the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase featuring the Grand National Fences over 2m5f. SENIOR CITIZEN is not well handicapped so might easily be picked up by something. That said, he loves these fences and should be hard to keep out the frame for Adrian Heskin and Alan King. Was second last year.
ITV show this Champion Chase, a Grade 1 over 3m. Hard to get away from last year’s runner up GALVIN who should go one better. He didn’t quite come up to scratch in the Gold Cup but can take this for Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott.
A conditions hurdle over 2m4f. A small field and BREWIN’UPASTORM should be too good for Olly Murphy and Sean Bowen provided he brings his best game. My hope nearly gave away a big chance at Lingfield last term but eventually got the job done – let’s hope he does again.
Another Grade 2 in the Elite Hurdle over 1m7f. How can you not tip up SCEAU ROYAL in this? The defending champion is just a great servant for Alan King and should take all the beating under Daryl Jacob. Has to give weight away but loves it here and at the age of ten should still take all the beating.
The big betting race of the day in the November Handicap over 1m4f. Staying in mud the key. Israr might be a class apart, but I’ll chance useful mud-loving hurdler METIER for Harry Fry and Saffie Osborne who takes off 3lb. Obviously I have to rely on my hope being fit on seasonal debut, but there aren’t many well handicapped horses in here and he might just be one.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s Saturday Selections
Wincanton: 12:40 – Sabrina (each way)
Doncaster: 12:50 – Art Power
Aintree: 13:01 – Ashtown Lad
Wincanton: 13:15 – McFabulous
Doncaster: 13:30 – Something Enticing (each way)
Wincanton: 13:50 – Cap Du Nord (each way)
Aintree: 14:11 – Senior Citizen
Down Royal: 14:32 – Galvin
Aintree: 14:45 – Brewin’upastorm
Wincanton: 15:00 – Sceau Royal
Doncaster: 15:13 – Metier
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