It’s not been an easy build up to the Festival with plenty of surprises in the big Saturday handicaps,but we have kept our heads above water and it’s not long to go now until Cheltenham anticipation hits fever pitch. There’s going to be lots going on at Paddy Power, so keep checking out the website and Twitter feed. However, this weekend we just have to take a few quid off Paddy to prepare him for the four days just around the corner. You hear me Paddy?
Let’s start at Doncaster with the Listed Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at 2.35pm. I fancied A Doll In Milan at Ffos Las last time, but she ran a shocker and has stamina to prove. That said, with Tony McCoy up I can see her bouncing back to form in this event. I suspect she will be sent off in front and can prove hard to catch.
After Doncaster at 2.50pm we go to Newbury for the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. The class act here off the Flat is First Mohican, and while he’s not been in great form he’s slipped a few pounds in the handicap and has slightly better ground. I could see Denis O’Regan pouncing late if the horses has a going day.
Next up is the extended 3m handicap hurdle at Doncaster at 3.10pm. The one to be on here is Batavir for the in-form Pipe/Scudamore team. This six-year-old has won the last twice and can do even better over this trip.
Back at Newbury at 3.25pm for the Greatwood Gold Cup. Take a chance with Bennys Mist, who is capable of scoring off 138. He has not been in the best of form recently, but he stays strong and should be bang there if back to anything like his best.
Finally, take a peak at the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster at 3.45pm. There are plenty of out of form horses in this, with the in-form animals waiting for Cheltenham. Caulfields Venture refused when beaten last time, but he’d won well on his previous start and I have a feeling Richie McLernon will suit the horse. Expect a better run.
So best of luck. Another tough old Saturday but if we strike it lucky the rewards will be good. Yeeehaaa!