Of course I am sizzling in Santa Anita, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping bang up to date with what is going on back home, so as usual I’ve got some Saturday hopes for you to have a second look at and for Paddy to worry about! You hear me Paddy?
Away from the Breeders’ Cup, jumping truly takes centre stage now at Ascot, Wetherby and Down Royal, and I can’t wait. Let’s start at Ascot with the United House Handicap, and the one I like here is the old boy RESTLESS HARRY, who was once a top class hurdler.
He’s now a pretty decent chaser, and did really well when fourth at Sandown at the end of last season and 12th at Cheltenham. If he is ready for this first time then he can go close off 148. He was once in the high 150 over hurdles. He likes Ascot. I will also have a few quid on MERRY KING in the same race. I think he’s got a big one in him.
There is a Listed 2m handicap hurdle at Ascot, and some classy sorts take their chance, including MOUNTAIN KING, who has always been a promising type and was fourth behind Roman Flight at Cheltenham last time. He can clearly win a race off 135 and goes for the top Philip Hobbs stable.
Over at Wetherby the feature is the Charlie Hall Chase, and notice Richard Johnson is not at Ascot but at Wetherby for Menorah. He has plenty to find with SILVINIACO CONTI who looks a good thing on ratings. Lump on.
I always like to look at the staying hurdle at Wetherby, but this time AT FISHERS CROSS really should win so we can’t really back him at short odds. So take a glance at the Listed Mares’ Hurdle, and have a few quid on AURORE D’ESTRUVAL for the John Quinn yard. She did well at Aintree behind Guitar Pete and should go close.
Finally there is superb stuff at Down Royal on Attheraces (and live streaming on your Paddy Power mobile app, Matt), and the Champion Chase can go to FIRST LIEUTENANT, who was last out at Punchestown behind the reopposing Boston Bob, with Ruby Walsh on board. The selection did not run well in this last season, but can make amends this time at about 10/3.
What a Saturday. Paddy will sit back with his large plate of popcorn and get fatter while he enjoys. Let’s at least lighten him by removing some of his cash. Yeeehaaa!