Newbury and Warwick combined for a fantastic days racing on Saturday with Kim Bailey’s Harry Topper enhancing his Gold Cup credentials with a comprehensive victory in the Denman Chase. BetVictor cut the 7-y-o to 20/1 Non Runner No Bet for the blue riband of jump racing but the mudlark would need it sodden to even turn up and questions remain regarding his jumping.
Alan King’s Balder Success put in a fantastic round of jumping to win the Kingmaker novices chase at Warwick and is 20/1 (from 25s) for The Arkle – Willie Mullins’ Supreme Novices Hurdle winner Champagne Fever the 7/2 favourite.
His Godmejudge won the extended three mile novice chase on the card last season en route to his Scottish National win and Midnight Prayer looks to have a similar profile of a smart staying chaser and is 14/1 with us at BetVictor for the National Hunt Chase.
Further jump racing for us to feast on this afternoon with Catterick and Plumpton (hopefully) surviving the elements and all eyes will be on Third Intention (2.05) at Plumpton.
Colin Tizzard’s 7-y-o is rated 143 over fences and will be using the two mile novices’ chase to set up a crack at the festival and he is a fascinating contender despite likely being a very skinny price.
Another fascinating runner is Gary Moore’s Mr Fickle (2.40) on handicap debut over hurdles. He receives an opening mark of 105 after three lacklustre runs in the national hunt sphere but showed enough ability on the flat to suggest there is further to come.
He has form on testing ground and looks set to give a race to recent course and distance winner Clonusker.
The two and a half mile handicap chase sees Venetia Williams’ Kingcora attempt to make amends for two failed gambles at Exeter and Ascot last month.
He is respected with the stable in red-hot form but preference is for Oliver Sherwood’ Spirit Oscar (3.40) who was impressive on her first two starts over hurdles at Lingfield and Fontwell, both on heavy going.
She didn’t fire at the track here last month but was having her second run inside ten days and it may have come too soon for her. The mare goes handicap chasing from a mark of 121 and looks well handicapped to give a strong account for a stable with a 50% strike-rate at the track in last 12 months.
AP McCoy goes to Catterick and rides Capote (1.50) in the first for Jonjo O’Neill on his rules debut having previously won a point-to-point in Ireland.
He is fancied to turn over I Need Gold and both look the types to be proper staying chasers in time, Capote owned by Trevor Hemmings so likely to have been purchased with a view of being an ‘Aintree’ horse in time.
Persian Herald (2.20) won well last time out at Southwell and can deny a 6lb rise at the weights in the two mile handicap hurdle. He looks a horse going the right direction and the only thing likely to stop him being Jonjo and AP teaming up on Hawaii Five Nil, an interesting runner on handicap debut.
Herdsman (3.50) can give the Sue Smith stable a double in the three mile handicap chase, despite disappointing in the Last Fling Chase at Haydock.
The 9-y-o should be better suited to the drop in trip from three and a half to three and a quarter miles and was previously impressive in handicap chases at Bangor and Carlisle. He chased home Tutchec at the latter and that form looks strong with Nicky Richards’s grey beating the mare Fentara at Newcastle.
For all the latest odds go to BetVictor.com