So the jumps season draws to a close (boooo!) in the UK on Saturday – but of course the Paddy Power Blog will be going jumps crazy next week (yeeehaaa) with the start of Punchestown 2014. We’ve had a good time against Paddy during the 2013/2014 campaign, so let’s try to annoy the bean-counters one more time. You hear me, Paddy?
Saturday’s racing tips for Sandown
In the opening Juvenile Hurdle (2.05) I really like the look of KELTUS for Champion trainer Paul Nicholls. He was a fine fourth in the hugely competitive Fred Winter at Cheltenham, and can race here off just a 3lb higher mark in a lesser contest. He should go well.
The Oaksey Chase (2.40) is decent, and I really like HUNT BALL for Nicky Henderson (main picture). He is bang there with every chance on ratings, getting 6lb from Menorah, and while he did not run that well in the National he was a fine fourth behind Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
The big race on the card is the Gold Cup Chase (3.50) – formerly the Whitbread and many others – and with a big field set to go to post stamina is going to be key with a strong gallop likely.
Right down the bottom of the weights have a few quid eachway on SUMMERY JUSTICE, who was fifth in the Scottish National off 140 but can race off 134 here, just 6lb higher than when slamming Burton Port at Newbury. Ideally he would prefer softer ground, but there has been a bit of rain around and he does have two good to soft ground wins to his name back in the day so fingers crossed he copes for Venetia Williams.
Saturday’s racing tips for Ripon
Away from Sandown there is a £40,000 handicap at Ripon at 3.30. It’s a tough contest, but HUFF AND PUFF is interesting from a good draw for Summery Justice’s trainer. The selection has not run on the flat for sometime, but is on a decent mark considering recent jumps form. The pace should be strong here with Sizzler likely to kick on early on a front-runner’s track and Huff and Puff could run huge.
Finally, the 7f handicap at Haydock is a £50,000 event, and I like GLEN ROSS for David Brown. Strictly speaking, he is high enough in the weights now, but he had a nice pipe-opener on polytrack the other day and will be raring to go back on turf. He loves this trip and is well drawn.
So make it a good weekend whatever you back, and let’s hope we get some money in the satchel before Punchestown’s party begins. Yeeehaaa out.
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