Classic trials and big-field handicaps give us the chance to really get stuck in this weekend – after a tasty 7-1 winner with Sir Maximilian at Chester. Yeeehaaa!
Let’s start with the Victoria Cup (3.50) at Ascot – where I’m putting up two against the field in LOVING SPIRIT (drawn 7) and HEAVEN’S GUEST (drawn 23) in this 29 runner smash-up where Paddy’s paying each-way on the first five home.
Loving Spirit has promised to win a big one like this for a long time. He is totally in the handicapper’s grip, but surely will fall in one day and ran well at Kempton last time. Heaven’s Guest landed a big Ascot pot back in October and with George Chaloner taking 3lb off – he’s not badly handicapped again.
Also at Ascot, I like GATEWOOD (2.40) in the 1m 4f Listed race. On ratings he has a bit to find, but I have a feeling a strong pace will suit him here and he’s very consistent. Hopefully, we’ll get an each-way price if all 10 line up.
Blue is the colour
At Lingfield, Mekong River has a great chance on the ratings the Epsom Derby Trial – but he might be one to take on.
The once I like is stablemate BLUE HUSSAR (2.55pm) who won a maiden over 7f but looks to be crying out for this trip and is bred to stay well. He could be interesting for the future.
Meanwhile, the Oaks Trial lacks quality on ratings but Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten KALLISHA (2.20pm), who impressed in a 10f maiden at Sandown and is open to lots of improvement.
On your marks
Finally at Haydock have a few quid each-way on BARIZAN (3.30pm) in the Swinton Hurdle. He won this 12 months ago but a lot of the fancied horses are right at the top of their marks. Barizan has been disappointing of late but has dropped to a mark of 134 – just 8lb higher than a year ago.
He should get a furious gallop just to sit behind here with some solid front runners in the line up and is worth a look. Have a great weekend and fingers crossed Paddy is a little lighter by the end of it.
Not in weight mind, no chance of that with the big man! You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!