THOUGHT FOR THE DAY An across the card treble for Paul Nicholls Thursday with Alcala, Unioniste and Stilletto. I expect he has some very well-handicapped horses. The Final Flight @thefinalflight1 Thursday 18th Feb.
On a day that will be dominated by Ms Pendleton and the media circus there are two elsewhere on the card I fancy.
REYCANO Caught my eye when coming from a way back last time out in finishing third. Think grade, track and trip will all suit the shrewd Mr Easterby’s charge. Two star** win selection @ 9/4. Now solid 2/1 shot @ posting time!
ROCK N RHYTHM Has some sound bumper form, winner over hurdles and this is the weakest chase he has run in. Ladbrokes have put him in at a huge 8/1. Pity there’s only seven runners but he’s a one star* win selection. Sorry 11/2 is best price this morning!!
ASCOT Saturday Going is Soft, Heavy in places after a dry night as we look ahead to the Ascot Chase – http://ascot.co.uk/Ascot-Chase Ascot Racecourse @Ascot · 9am Friday
Haydock 2.40 BROADWAY BUFFALO Winning form round Haydock, goes on heavy ground, Katie Walsh over to ride and could do with a few pounds extra to guarantee place at Aintree. Don’t expect to see BB until three out but hopefully he’ll arrive swinging. He is a two star** win selection @ top priced 11/2 with WH (5/1 general) and pleased to read the opinion of his trainer, David Pipe. “David Pipe is expecting a bold show from Broadway Buffalo, who is ridden by leading Irish amateur Katie Walsh. Walsh steered the eight-year-old to the runner-up spot in last season’s National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and was also on board when he finished fifth in a Grade One hurdle at Auteuil in November. He has been off the track since the latest of those efforts, but the Pond House handler does not expect him to be lacking in the fitness department. Pipe said: “We’re hoping he’ll run well. He won’t mind the ground and everything looks ideal. It’s been the plan for a while to start him back in this race and he schooled well earlier in the week. It’s a tough race and it’ll be a real slog, but he should appreciate that.
Tom (Scudamore) decided to go to Ascot and the owner was keen for Katie to ride Broadway Buffalo again.” At The Races Friday
Tomorrows #startracking runners and three more selections for the Fab Four will be posted 6pm tonight.
CHEF D’OEUVRE 1st 2/11 Fav. Looked under pressure turning for home but did the job comfortably. “Touch wood, Chef D’Oeuvre (Fontwell, 3.30) will register his second win over hurdles this afternoon as he looks to face a relatively simple task even with the penalty. The form of his run at Cheltenham last time behind Yanworth is light-years ahead of what these rivals have achieved and it will be good to get some more experience into him as he’s still very much a young horse learning the game. I think we are more likely to wait for Punchestown than go to Cheltenham with him as he’s a horse who needs soft ground, which he’s more likely to get in Ireland than at Prestbury Park next month, but wherever he goes this spring, he’s going to be a cracking horse next year” Warren Greatrex Oddschecker Thurs. 18th Feb.
STILLETTO 1st 7/4 Fav. (from a morning 11/8!) Hoorah. Our two star** selection shows what he can do when he wants too. A mistake at the first ditch was the only blemish on an impressive victory. That should put him on about OR139 which would make him an ideal candidate for the Novices handicap on Tuesday at Cheltenham and as it’s Mr Brookhouse I’m sure he will want to run. I’m not sure what our talented delinquent will make of the Festival atmosphere. Victory may make a man of him, he is clearly talented. That’s Stilletto not Mr Brookhouse! Jockey STD tells the Racing Post today “they hope Stilletto can be competitive in the Brown Advisory Plate at Cheltenham off about 140”. No bookmaker has priced him up. Why not the novices handicap on the Tuesday if he gets OR140 or less?