Abolitionist was taken out of the lists for the Randox Health Grand National yesterday with Dr Richard Newland pulling stumps on any potential Aintree bid this year although he remains optimistic he will have his recent Irish import back on track for next season. Blaklion and Total Recall remain 10/1 joint favourites for the race with BetVictor with last year’s runner up Cause Of Causes 16s from 20/1.
Ben Pauling also reported that his JLT Novice Chase favourite Willoughby Court has poison in his foot and must be considered a doubtful runner at Cheltenham. The Willie Mullins’ trained Invitation Only was subsequently trimmed to 5s from 7s with BetVictor and Pauling faces a race against time to get his stable star fit for the Festival.
Leicester and Catterick’s cards scheduled for today fell foul to the elements yesterday. There is every chance we will not see any turf racing until the weekend at the earliest although the forecast suggests Newbury have every chance of beating the freeze for Saturday’s Greatwood meeting.
At Lingfield, I am looking forward to seeing Jeremy Noseda’s Walk In The Sun (2.30) who created a very favourable impression when scoring at Kempton on debut. The selection looks to have a straight forward task today but do note this son of Street Sense holds an entry in the Irish Guineas and he cost $1.4m as a juvenile back in May.
Ryan Moore rides Walk In The Sun and is also in the plate for Abe Lincoln who scored at Wolverhampton over 7f last month. This five-year-old entire steps up to 10f for the first time this afternoon but his stamina must be taken on trust and others are preferred.
Kyllachy Gala (3.00) is 4lbs better off with Emenem for the short head he was beaten by that rival, who reopposes today, last time. The selection could hardly be described as a serial winner but he deserves to win a nice prize and gets the narrow vote in a hot little five-runner handicap.
Zest (3.30) can reverse recent tapeta form with Stellar Surprise and Carolinae on much better terms back on polytrack for James Fanshawe in the famous Elite racing Club colours. Zest is no Soviet Song who won four Group 1’s in these colours over a long and glittering career for the yard, but she is an admirable and consistent mare who must go close.
Richard Kingscote has a record of five wins from 10 rides on Smiley Bagel (4.00) and a 4lbs rise for his recent win over 12f is fair. Today’s additional furlong is unlikely to be much of an inconvenience although Ed Walker’s five-year-old has not yet won over a mark as high as this afternoon’s.
At Chelmsford Gala Celebration (3.15) can go one better than when second over C&D from a 1lb lower mark earlier in the month in what was his first start for Ian Williams. That was the gelding’s first start in nearly four months and he was a bit keen. The hope is he is more amenable to restraint with that run under his belt for Jamie Spencer this afternoon.