It’s a monster weekend of racing and and I’m heading to Ireland on Sunday for the huge Hennessy meeting at Leopardstown.
I think Foxrock (each-way), Kalkir and Valseur Lido are all worth a close look! You hear me Paddy?
On Saturday I’m concentrating on Warwick and Newbury, so let’s start at the former track with the Grade 2 novices’ chase.
Many will go with Vibrato Valtat, who seems to have turned a frustrating corner, but I’m hoping TOP GAMBLE (2.05pm) will bang out and make all. He’s improving all the time and shows a great attitude. There will be some pace pressure, but he looks good for Richard Lee.
Next up is the Denman Chase at Newbury which also carries Grade 2 status. Harry Topper won this 12 months ago but he has been desperate in two runs since so it’s hard to fancy him. Coneygree is an interesting novice with class, but I think this is the day for HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (2.25pm) to win a big one.
The selection has faced some stiff tasks, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but has been in great form this season chasing home Many Clouds in the Hennessy and The Young Master at Ascot. He stays well and is in good form.
The mares’ hurdle at Warwick and surely the one to beat is Willie Mullins’s GLENS MELODY (2.40pm) under the excellent Paul Townend.
This mare chased home Quevega at Cheltenham last year and should be good enough.
The Game Spirit Chase at Newbury sees the return of Champion Chase hero SIRE DE GRUGY (3pm). He’s had problems, but has masses in hand on ratings and simply has to be the selection. Hopefully he will scoot in for Gary Moore.
Finally, it’s the big betting heat of the day with the race of the day with the 24 runner 2m hurdle. This is often won by a horse who can mix it with the very best so we need an improving type or a proven class act. I’m taking two against the field in ACTIVIAL and CHELTENIAN (3.35pm) as Paddy’s paying the first five home.
The former ran well in a similar contest for Harry Fry at Ascot last time and a repeat effort should put him bang there. Cheltenian was fourth in this 12 months ago and is a massive price after trying chasing. He’s very lightly-raced and is worth a few quid each-way.
So another big weekend. Let’s hope Paddy will be paying us! Yeeehaaa!