THE ground has turned bottomless in the last few days so on a busy weekend of racing mud lovers will be key.
ITV cover racing at Haydock and Ascot on Saturday, so let’s see if we can take a few quid off my friends at Sunbets.
Let’s start at Haydock. The 1.50pm is a handicap hurdle over nearly 2m3f, and I think VALUE AT RISK will be hard to keep out the frame.
Harry Skelton’s hope has been chasing recently until back over hurdles last time. He’s never quite fulfilled his promise over the larger obstacles, but he stays and goes in the mud.
Start your Cheltenham wallet today
The 2.25pm is a handicap hurdle over nearly 2m7f, and the one I like is THE WORLDS END for Tom George.
This horse improved throughout last season and I spoke to George this week about this animal. He spoke in glowing terms and said he could end up in the Sunbets Stayers’ Hurdle.
The big Grade 1 Chase comes up at 3pm over nearly 3m2f, and BRISTOL DE MAI is the one most likely to cope with the tough conditions, although he is far from bomb proof. That said, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ hope is classy on his day.
Finally at Haydock the 3.35pm is a handicap chase over nearly 3m2f, and KAKI DE LA PREE is slow enough to have every chance for Tom Symonds. They won’t go very fast here!
Over at Ascot, don’t forget that every 10 pounds you spend at the meeting you get 2 pounds towards your Cheltenham Festival bank for free!
Matt Chapman’s TV Tips
1.50 Haydock – Value At Risk: ‘He goes in the mud and will be hard to keep out of the frame’ (add to your betslip)
2.05 Ascot – Smad Place: ‘He jumps for fun and is still a force in these sort of races’ (add to your betslip)
2.25 Haydock – The Worlds End: ‘Could develop into a Stayers’ Hurdle contender’ (add to your betslip)
2.40 Ascot – Defi Du Seuil: ‘Needs to win this to hold Champion Hurdle claims’ (add to your betslip)
3.00 Haydock – Bristol De Mai: ‘Will handle the testing conditions better than the rest’ (add to your betslip)
3.15 Ascot – Sire De Grugy: ‘Class act can defy hefty weight’ (add to your betslip)
3.35 Haydock – Kaki De La Pree: ‘Slow enough to be suited by this slog’ (add to your betslip)
The 2.05pm is a Grade 2 Chase over 2m5f, and the one I like is SMAD PLACE, who proved for Alan King he is still a force in decent events. He jumps for fun and can show younger horses how to do it!
It’s the Ascot Hurdle over an extended 2m3f at 2.40pm, and this Grade 2 event can go to DEFI DU SEUIL, who was one of the horses I loved most from last season. He has to win this to be a Champion Hurdle hope for Philip Hobbs the master trainer.
And finally at Ascot ITV show a handicap chase at 3.15pm, and old boy SIRE DE GRUGY might just carry top weight to victory after a fine effort over hurdles on his comeback run. 11st 12lb won’t be easy to carry for Gary Moore’s runner but he’s a class act.
So best of luck and let’s hope for some Yeeehaaas. You Betcha!