I watched an interview Sky Racing televised with William Haggas on Monday in which there appeared a real glint in the trainer’s eye when asked about the prospects of Addeybb in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
His Royal Ascot winner was backed from 5s to 7/2 with BetVictor for the feature race on Britain’s richest flat card on Saturday with the Newmarket handler suggesting he had been “freshened up” following what I thought was just a workmanlike success on heavy ground at Haydock last time.
Leicester must pass a 7.30 inspection this morning and it may be prudent to look elsewhere for our selections with further rain forecast overnight for the east midlands.
The ground was described as good at noon on Monday for today’s jumps card at Hereford but there was further significant rain forecast and I am assuming the ground will be no better than good to soft for today’s meeting.
Station Master ran a very good race here when runner up to a smart Philip Hobbs-trained novice back in March, but he may not want overnight rain. He is reluctantly overlooked in favour of Financial Outcome (3.05) who ran well in defeat for Rebecca Curtis over hurdles last season but is a dual winning pointer including on soft ground. Anteros has won his last couple over fences and represents a big danger despite being 8lbs higher than when scoring at Bangor-on-Dee last time.
Dinos Benefit must go close despite the steadier of top-weight for Colin Tizzard in the Mares’ Handicap Chase but Belle Empress (4.10) can make a winning seasonal reappearance for Emma Lavelle after a light, and largely disappointing, campaign over fences last season. The selection has won a point and a hurdle on heavy ground. With the yard in form she gets the vote.
Get Back Get Back can go well if the ground is not too soft at Huntingdon but I am looking forward to the hurdles debut of Glory And Fortune (2.10) who won a listed Bumper on debut at New Year for Tom Lacey and has not been seen since.
Manning Estate (3.15) has always hinted that he might up into a decent chaser for Oliver Sherwood and he makes his debut over the larger obstacles today. The selection has run well on soft ground over timber, but he would ideally not want conditions to deteriorate too much. Do check out a market move for Charlemar having his first start for 583 days.
At Kempton Alrajaa is likely to be all the rage after impressing when scoring at Chelmsford last time from an 11lb lower mark but he is drawn out wide in stall eight and marginal preference is for the filly Listen To The Wind (7.30). The selection has been off the track since finishing runner up on firm ground at Bath back in July when she travelled like much the best horse but got mugged close home. She has won two of her five career starts including on polytrack at Lingfield.
Royal Dancer (8.30) escapes a penalty for winning an apprentice race at Brighton last week and is taken to follow up for Sylvester Kirk with Luke Morris taking over in the saddle. The selection ran a terrific race under Morris at Chelmsford on his penultimate start and he has a good draw in stall four – of fourteen.