It’s fair to say we had a monster Cheltenham Open meeting and I hope a few of you made some cash on the PP Blog and those listening to me mark your card in the shops
Paddy said I wouldn’t be back – but I’m still here and gunning for his cash. You hear me Paddy?
It’s another huge weekend of jumps action with the likes of Champion Hurdle contenders Faugheen and The New One reappearing in the UK while exciting novice chaser Vautour is in action at Navan on Sunday.
But the biggest contest is the 3m 1f Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock featuring Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti and Dynaste.
It’s a top renewal and many of the runners have questions to answer. The cheek pieces could transform Paul Nicholls’ Silviniaco Conti while David Pipe’s Dynaste makes his seasonal debut.
I’m sticking with last year’s hero CUE CARD (3pm). He mightn’t be the strongest of stayer – but he’s race-fit and has a high cruising speed that will get plenty of these off the bridle. This could be his day again.
Also at Haydock is the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle (2.25pm) in which Big Easy and Katkeau take each other on again. David Pipe’s runner beat Big Easy at Cheltenham last weekend – but there’s a danger he could suffer from the ‘bounce effect’.
Big Easy is 3lb better off now with Katkeau for the in-form Richard Johnson/Philip Hobbs combo – so fingers crossed for revenge. Big Easy jumped really well last weekend and off a rating of 135 looks a solid each-way bet.
I’ve had a glance at the 3m1f Handicap Chase and stamina is going to be absolutely key in testing conditions. A lot of these are out of form and I’m taking a flyer with MASTERS HILL (3.35pm).
He wasn’t a bad novice and might relish this test. He’s dropped a few pounds from last season and could give the Tizzards a big double on the day.
Meanwhile, over at Ascot
The Amlin Chase (2.05pm) only has a small field – but it’s still a tough heat to sort out.
In many ways I want to take on WISHFULL THINKING but off a mark of 169 and getting 4lb from Al Ferof he really is the form horse.
He’s won right-handed – although you can argue he’s better going left-handed – and is in the form if his life after his victory at Aintree. It won’t be easy to follow up but he has to go well for Hobbs once again.
Recent course winner ULCK DU LIN (3.15pm) might be hard to beat for Champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Jack Sherwood. His 7lb claim could make all the difference in this big field.
So best of luck this weekend – and let’s hope we have a few more Yeeehaaa’s heading Paddy’s way. Boom!