Saturday’s Tingle Creek Chase is the Grade 1 highlight at Sandown Park at the weekend and the highest-rated chaser in training Altior is 4/6 favourite at BetVictor to make a winning seasonal reappearance.
Nicky Henderson will step his Champion Chase winner up in trip as the season progresses, but he is 16/1 for the 3m King George at Kempton with BetVictor on Boxing Day. It may not be until Aintree in the spring that we see him over two-and-a-half miles, however, although that will depend whether he retains the speed for the minimum trip.
Adjali (12.15) makes his British debut for Nicky Henderson in the opener at Market Rasen and this juvenile hurdler won one of his three starts in France for Guillaume Macaire. The selection was beaten 5l at Auteuil when last seen back in May and he can pick off the Skelton’s King D’argent who also finished third in listed company at Wetherby last month.
Nicky Richards’ Imada has been well entered up this autumn and connections will be optimistic that the trainer’s patience will be rewarded as he steps up to 2m 4f for his seasonal return. I just favour the Skelton’s embryonic chaser Renwick (2.25) who looks fairly treated off his opening mark of 113 having scored with plenty in hand at Hereford last time.
Lily Of Leysbourne (3.30) has been given a short break since a frustrating run of seconds and the likelihood of softer ground is a slight concern for this Irish import who is ridden by Connor Brace – takes off a valuable 8lbs – for the first time.
At Wincanton Printing Dollars (1.00) makes her hurdles debut having won a point in her native Ireland and then a Bumper at Warwick having her first start for Warren Greatrex. The mare is from the family of Denman and this near 2m 6f trip looks an ideal starting point.
I still can’t believe that Captain Buck’s (1.30) was not involved in the finish over today’s C&D in the Badger Ales last time having travelled very well to the top of the home straight. This is a weaker race and he has been dropped a couple of pounds by the handicapper – this is his last opportunity.
Reikers Island looks a big danger for the Hobbs yard although he cannot afford to lose ground by jumping out to his right as he did at Exeter last time. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on his inside coming to the first obstacle.
I was disappointed with the ride given to Darling Maltaix (2.05) at Taunton last time when jockey Lorcan Williams made his ground up too quickly and was run out of it close home. He must show he is as effective on slower ground, but he is 3lbs “well in” and is taken to go one better than last time.
Charlie Todd is an amateur jockey I am not particularly familiar with, but the hope is that he can steer Baron Du Plessis (3.10) home in the amateur riders’ event for Ian Williams. The selection drops down in trip from 3m and is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time. Note Todd has never ridden a winner over jumps in 22 previous attempts in Britain, but has a couple of wins on the level to his name.