iIt’s nearly that time when we go Cheltenham crazy, and certainly I’ll be getting stuck into the Paddy Power meeting on the blog next week. Catch me Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
However, there’s cash to be won this weekend, and we have a right old mixture of Flat and jumps at Aintree, Doncaster and Wincanton.
Let’s start with the 2.30pm at Aintree, which is a conditions hurdle over 2m4f. A strange one this with former Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth and one-time Arkle victor Simonsig in the line-up.
PURPLE BAY has stamina questions to answer, but in a race where simply being fit and well might count for a lot he has to be the answer on what is essentially a speed-favouring track. Hopefully John Ferguson has him ready.
There’s also a handicap chase at Aintree over nearly 2m 4f at 3.05pm, and this one looks tricky. I’m having an each-way wager on BALLYGARVEY , who ran well for a long way at Chepstow last time before getting tired in the closing stages. He should be fitter here for Philip Hobbs.
On the Flat over at Doncaster i’m interested in the extended 1m2f handicap at 2.55pm. The one I like to hit the frame is BRANDYBEND , who ran really well at Newmarket last time having been outclassed by Curvy back at Ascot in June. She is lightly raced and open to some improvement for Marco Botti.
Later at Doncaster it’s the big betting race of the day, the November Handicap, at 3.30pm. This is always a slog, and travelling well close to the pace is often key.
The one I want to be on is GREEN LIGHT , who has only won once in 16 starts although that was on soft ground. He showed good form last time when third behind Argus – a one time possible for this and Ralph Beckett stable companion – last time and appeared to relish the step up to 1m 4f.
He had tried it once before and run shocking, but it might just be that this consistent sort is ready for the test now and can crown a famous season at Doncaster for the St Leger winning trainer.
Finally, at Wincanton I will have a few quid on the youngster ALL YOURS in the Elite Hurdle. He won a Grade 1 at Aintree and although I’m not totally sure about his character there are all sorts of reasons for opposing the others. Paul Nicholls should have the selection ready.
So let’s hope for a good weekend, before we go Paddy Power crazy in just a few days time. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!