It’s Friday but there are a couple of interesting runners at both Doncaster and Huntingdon that I’d like to draw your attention too.
Last Saturday we had a winner with Rock The Kasbah (7/1) at Ascot while Lil Rockerfeller (10/1) repaid the each-way backer in the same race.
In the 13:35 at Huntingdon where Nicky Henderson saddles the smart Buveur D’Air in the Novices’ Hurdle. It’ll be interesting to see how he goes after winning a strong Maiden Hurdle at Newbury. His odds are already prohibitive at 1/6. The third from that race Big Chief Benny runs in a Maiden Hurdle at Doncaster (15:40) and should justify favouritism.
Onto the main fancies:
This Pertemps Qualifier looks an intriguing little renewal and Dr Richard Newland trained the winner back in 2012 with Theologist. This time around he saddles Westren Warrior who was second to Yala Enki in the Lanzarote Hurdle when last seen and steps back up in trip here. He stayed on that day to suggest he’d see out this extra distance but has to reverse form with the progressive Singlefarmpayment from December.
Tom Lacey’s six-year-old has kept improving of late had has won some very competitive handicaps including one at Cheltenham last time, which has seen the handicapper put him up 8lb. Davy Russell comes in to take the ride.
The one I’m quite interested by is Kerisper for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He improved for the test of stamina at Doncaster 31-days ago and would have been closer if it wasn’t for the second Top Billing drifting left-handed in the final half-furlong. He could be one to progress again and has won an Irish point-to-point over 3m. At Doncaster last time the first two were more prominently ridden meaning they had first run. If ridden more towards the fore here then he can’t be discounted at around 7/1.
One more to note at a price is Taj Badalandabad who despite finishing seventh of ten runners last time wasn’t beaten all too far despite going pretty hard early on. That was over 2m6f, so he’s up in trip again here, but his pedigree has some stamina in there, which should give confidence of him seeing out this trip. David Pipe has reached for the cheekpieces to replace the visor too with Tom Scuadmore taking the ride instead of Conor O’Farrell.
Advice: Kerisper (7/1 Each-Way)
I touched upon this race in the introduction and this Maiden Hurdle could have some strength to it based on paper.
Big Chief Benny as highlighted is the main focus after bumping into some useful sorts so far in his short career. Charmix beat him last time and then Buveur D’Air and Wait For Me were both in front of him on the run prior to that. He sets a solid enough standard for this contest.
There are plenty that you could give chances too. See The World was third to Modus and Charmix at Newbury on his first start over obstacles and is likely to have improved for that run. Royal Milan and Rainy City both represent top trainers in Philip Hobbs and Paul Nicholls respectively. Both have course experience with the latter winning a bumper here in November. Rainy City was fourth to Saint Charles in a Maiden Hurdle over a year ago and that horse has finished second to Thistlecrack showing there could be something in that piece of form. However the absence would be a slight concern to say he’d need the run. Royal Milan made a pleasing debut over hurdles and is another that could improve for that effort.
One at a decent enough price is Emperor Sakhee. Karen McLintock was one from five in this sort of race last season and this son of Beneficial does take some interest considering the ground is likely to be drying out with these strong winds. This six-year-old was bought to life when the hood was applied two starts ago and both of his efforts since have been winning ones. He is versatile in terms of tactics after being held up last time after making all in April. The only slight doubt is race fitness from his 237-day absence. In time looking at his pedigree he could be a middle distance hurdler with the possibility of seeing him run over 3m.
Just a pointer for this race – some bookies are paying four places rather than the standard three, so it may be worth seeking to place a bet with those.
Advice: Big Chief Benny (3/1 Win)
Emperor Sakhee (16/1 Each-Way)
Good Luck and I’ll be back with a preview of Cheltenham’s Trials Day plus Sky Bet Chase day at Doncaster.