It’s another huge weekend for the jumps boys with the chance to see a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the Hennessy (Imperial Commander), a World Hurdle trial and a potential Champion Hurdle winner at Newcastle.
And I’m ready to come out fighting Paddy. You hear me?
Most of the Hennessy field are young, improving chasers and it’s a case of finding the one that stays strong who might still have more to come.
I like two against the field in the shape of Rocky Creek trained by Paul Nicholls, and Donald McCain’s Super Duty who is slightly bigger in the market.
Rocky Creek was part-owned by my pal David Johnson before he sadly passed away, and he has always been held in high regard.
Rocky Creek could be well handicapped as he beat Houblon des Obeaux nearly two lengths at Ascot in February – yet is 3lb better off on Saturday. He could have run better behind Dynaste at Aintree last term – but we’ll put that down to being the end of a long season.
Super Duty also ran poorly in that Dynaste heat. However, he stays well and was previously ultra-consistent. If you ignored his Aintree run he would be half the odds following his fine second to Same Difference in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival.
I expect At Fishers Cross (2.25pm) to land the Long Distance Hurdle and confirm himself a top World Hurdle candidate for March. But my best bet of the day comes at Newcastle in the Fighting Fifth (2.05pm).
Cruise home on the bridle
On ratings this is a match up between My Tent or Yours and Melodic Rendezvous. The latter won well on his seasonal return at Wincanton, although Far West has since let the form down by running a shocker at Haydock.
It’s speed rather than stamina that is usually needed to win this and My Tent or Yours has it in bundles. I expect him to cruise round and win this on the bridle.
Meanwhile have a second look at Mister Marker (2.40) in the Attheraces-sponsored Rehearsal Chase. He doesn’t run much, but he’s useful when right and I expect him to be spot on for this comeback.
So let’s get set for another bumper weekend – and let’s make Paddy a poorer man. Yeeehaaa!