Just over two months to the Cheltenham Festival so it’s time to start getting excited – and with Cheltenham in mind we need to bag a few quid in January to hit Paddy hard in March. You hear me, Paddy?
So let’s get to it this weekend, and kick off with the 1.55pm at Warwick, the Listed novices’ chase. On hurdle ratings Deputy Dan will be hard to beat, but he’s been disappointing for me and at the moment is not as good over fences as the smaller obstacles.
I’m sticking with Alan King’s SEGO SUCCESS, who is a lightly raced improver and a very strong stayer. He is open to improvement in the jumping department, but if he gets it together that would allow him to run to a higher rating.
Next up is the Listed Chase over an extended 2m4f at Kempton (2.10pm), and BALDER SUCCES has been expensive to follow for this column but has a great chance to make up for it here in a small field. Hopefully a King across-the-card double.
Warwick hosts a Pertemps qualifier at 2.25pm, and the big task in these contests is always to find the one that really wants it on this day, rather than in the Final! A smaller field than usual, and CLOSING CEREMONY for Emma Lavelle might be the one. The six-year-old is up 6lb from a latest win at Haydock but seems uncomplicated and might be hard to catch from the front.
The big betting race of the day is the Lanzarote at Kempton (2.40pm), and the real improver seems to be WARRANTOR, who bids for a third win on the bounce for one of the trainer’s of the season Warren Greatrex. Warrantor has been in big fields the last twice, but been impressive on both outings. Rated 127 last time, he’s up to 135 now but that seems very fair.
Finally let’s take a look at the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick at 3pm over 2m5f. I’m hoping for a quick Greatrex double, as SHANTOU BOB rallied gamely at Sandown last time in defeat and he should relish this test. He’s going to be a grand chaser one day, but can take this.
So best of luck for another weekend of action as we try to take a few more quid off Paddy. Yeeehaaa!
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