Waiting Patiently was a poignant winner of a cracking renewal of the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on Saturday and Ruth Jefferson’s unbeaten chaser is 4/1 from 7/1 with BetVictor for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next month.
Blaklion is out to 12/1 with BetVictor for the Grand National after finishing a distant second in an unsatisfactory Trial for the great race at Haydock.
In Ireland Our Duke gave 7lbs and a beating to Presenting Percy in the Red Mills Chase despite a less than fluent round of jumping, but the engine is certainly there and he is 8/1 from 12s for the Gold Cup with BetVictor.
A valuable card for a Monday at Carlisle this afternoon and I hope conditions dry out enough for Truckers Lodge (2.00) to leave his Chepstow reappearance behind when he travelled like the best horse in the race last month only to fade on bad ground.
The selection dead-heated in an Irish point before winning a Chepstow Bumper impressively on good ground last April. Trained by Tom George the horse is going to make a decent chaser in time, but he can take this as long as conditions are not too testing. Secret Legacy won an Irish Bumper for Gordon Elliot and was in the process of running a good race on his British debut when coming down at the last at Leicester on his first start for Ian Williams.
George was out of luck with Wild West Wind on Saturday but as well as Truckers Lodge he saddles Copper West (2.30) who looked sure to be involved in the finish at Doncaster last time only to fade into third over two-and-a-half-miles. The selection drops back in trip today, Noel George takes off a valuable 7lbs and he looks sure to go close.
Blottos (3.35) might have been let in lightly for his handicap hurdle debut having given Aaron Lad 5lbs and a three-length beating at Sedgefield last time. The runner up looked all over the winner at Catterick last week off 114 and Blottos should be competitive from an opening mark of 122 for Danny Cook and Sue Smith.
The valuable 3m Handicap Chase is an absolute belter and I just favour Bako De La Saulaie (4.40) over Newtown Lad although all seven who go to post have realistic chances. The selection has been raised 5lbs for finishing second at Doncaster last time but he looks open to considerable improvement and gets a narrow vote.
The Lingfeld opener can go to the penalised Sangha River (1.45) who created a very favourable impression despite the fact that he just scrambled home on debut in the end at Doncaster.
The form of the recent second over C&D of Finnegan’s Garden (2.45) last month was given a boost when the winner Tara Bridge followed up at Sandown on Friday. The selection was well out of the handicap on that occasion and can race from an 8lbs lower mark this afternoon.
They race at Kempton this evening and In the two-mile handicap which closes the card Western Way (8.20) can land the hat-trick despite racing from a 7lbs higher mark than when scoring decisively over C&D for Don Cantillon earlier in the month.
The nine-year-old used to have a reputation of needing to go right-handed, but he did score at Chelmsford on his penultimate start before his win here at the beginning of the month. This is a step up in grade this evening but connections look to have found another decent opportunity and Adam Kirby keep the ride.
Samphire Coast is another horse chasing a hat-trick having scored won his last couple at Chelmsford and he has only been raised 3lbs for his latest fluent success. He did run poorly on his only previous start at Kempton, however, and is overlooked.
Oud Metha Bridge has been raised 3lbs for finishing second here from a wide draw last month on his first start for Julia Feilden and is respected, but I am going to take a chance on Kingston Kurrajong (7.50) visored for the first time having his first-start for William Knight.
The selection is yet to win on an artificial surface but he ran a good race over tonight’s C&D when beaten just a length from a 9lbs higher mark last March and Martin Harley takes the ride for William Knight.