Posted 11am Saturday February 20th due to a computing malfunction last pm.
Ascot is a most peculiar card with a whole load of horses running in the “wrong” races. Chasers over hurdles, down in trip, up in trip, wrong grade etc. etc. Need to have a long look.
Haydock is just about as curious, opening with the a four runner juvenile hurdle featuring the current Triumph hurdle favourite against the current Fred Winter favourite, Fixe le Kap v Frodon. The Pertemps Qualifier is particularly spicy with two very interesting Irish challengers in Woodford Island (Gordon Elliott) and last year’s big gamble in the Kim Muir Chase, Champagne James (Tony Martin).
At 2.55 Fairyhouse runs a handicap hurdle over 2m4f with two interesting horses in it. Mall Dini who could be a Pertemps player and Townshend who runs off one of those dodgy French marks of OR131 for the Ricci/Mullins/Walsh combo!
Wincanton hosts a sub-standard Saturday programme featuring a sub-standard Kingwell Hurdle, Irving v Melodic Rendezvous take two.
The Fab Four
Fairyhouse 2.55 MALL DINI (7/1 WH & L) Talented horse who hasn’t been getting home over three miles. Townshend is over-bet being Ricci/Mullins/Walsh and jockey Davy Russell gives Mall Dini a chance. “He just hasn’t been seeing out his races over three miles so we are hopeful that a half-mile drop in trip will help. The ground conditions should be fine for him and I’m hopeful of a bold show.” Betway Blog
Haydock 2.05 AT FISHERS CROSS (9/2 PP & L) I can think of a hundred reasons not to back AFC but he looks value in this field. He was fourth in last year’s World Hurdle and his comeback run at Gowran was excellent.
Haydock 3.15 BOX OFFICE (5/1 WH) See below.
Haydock 2.40 BROADWAY BUFFALO (4/1 general) See Friday Fe. 19th post.
#startracking Saturday runners
Saturday Ascot 1.50 ONENIGHTINVIENNA The trip may well be on the short side but he could simply be the best horse in the race. He jumps, travels and stays and there are just too many questions over the rest, most of whom are trying to sort out their handicap mark. He is a two star** win selection at the 11/4 on offer with PP.
P.S I would hate to see Ballyalton blow that handicap mark of OR140.
Saturday Ascot 2.25 BALLY BEAUFORT Trip and ground are fine but he is still flying a bit high in Listed company. 10/1 is not big enough to tempt me for a bet, so it is a watching brief.
Saturday Haydock 3.15 BOX OFFICE Up two pounds and a furlong further, should cope with both. He is already qualified for the Pertemps final and off current mark of OR135h he should just about sneak in. Another couple of pounds wouldn’t go amiss but it’s a strong field so it may be a case of all or nothing. He is a one star win selection at 5/1 with WH.
“My other ride is BOX OFFICE (3.15) in the Pertemps Qualifier, and he should enjoy the step up in trip. He hasn’t won this season, but he continues to progress. I thought that he ran well at Aintree in October, and he improved on that at Sandown last time as he stepped up a little in distance. He is only five, so he is entitled to improve again, and this two miles and six and a half furlongs should suit him. It’s a competitive race though.” Barry GeraghtyATR blog
Saturday Haydock 3.50 CAPARD KING Dreadful last time and friendless in the market today. Watching brief.
“Capard King goes in the novices’ handicap chase (3.50pm). I really liked him when I won on him at Southwell in November, but he was admittedly disappointing at Ayr last time. He looks to have Kylemore Lough to beat here who is going for a hat-trick. I thought he looked good at Exeter and he’ll like the ground. There shouldn’t be too much between them.” Richard Johnson Betway Blog
Sunday Naas 2.55 CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE Jack Kennedy is a positive booking and makes CVT a one star* each way selection