A new era in British and Irish racing began yesterday with the launch of Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV (formerly Racing UK) covering Irish racing from Tramore and Fairyhouse. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first guests on Sky Sports Racing yesterday and our great sport is well catered for with two top-class channels.
The winner of Cheltenham’s opening listed novice hurdle Jarveys Plate was introduced into the betting at 33/1 with BetVictor for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Tougher tasks lie ahead but he looked a decent prospect for Fergal O’Brien.
Good to soft ground at Hereford and Charming Zen has his fourth British start for his third trainer having had spells with Dan Skelton and Nicky Henderson and now having his first start for Olly Murphy. He has a BHB mark of 136 but is likely to be plenty short enough in the betting and the vote goes to Go Long (2.30) even though he would be 9lbs better off if this were a handicap.
The Evan Williams-trained gelding finished third on his chase debut at Haydock 11 days ago when he finished well having been given plenty to do. Williams obviously feels his 9-y-old is ready for another quick run.
The winning pointer Loveherorleaveher (3.30) has had no luck in her two starts for Nicky Henderson but she was very well backed at Leicester last month and this winning pointer gets the vote for owner Alan Spence whose colours were in the winners’ enclosure at Lingfield last weekend.
A precautionary inspection was called for Ayr at 8am this morning but the racecourse executive seem optimistic that racing will go ahead. Glinger Flame is a fascinating newcomer over timber having shaped with promise in two Bumpers for Nicky Richards, but he has not seen the track since May and preference is for Johnbb (12.30) who ran well in third behind a useful prospect (Birchdale) of Nicky Henderson’s on his first start over timber. The selection will get 3m in time but gets the vote for Tom Lacey.
Lacey also saddles dual Bumper winner Sebastopol (1.35) who gets a more confident vote having finished fourth on his hurdles debut over the minimum trip back in October. This step up in trip on soft ground should suit this winning pointer although one note of caution he was pulled out of a Kempton Bumper on account of soft ground back in March.
Glittering Love (3.10) looked ready for a step up to three miles when scoring at Hexham before Christmas (2m 4f) from a 9lbs lower mark. This 7-y-old was a multiple point-to-point winner and represents the inform Richards yard.
At Newcastle this evening I am interested to see what the market says about Breaking Records stepping up to a mile for the first time for Hugo Palmer. Marginal preference, however, is for Dubai Acclaim (4.10) who is only 2lbs higher than when scoring over C&D last time for Richard Fahey.