We suggested yesterday that La Bague Au Roi looked overpriced at 7/2 for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday and Warren Greatrex’s mare was trimmed to 5/2 with BetVictor on Wednesday morning. There is rain forecast for the area on Friday and Saturday and the ground is likely to be soft in west Yorkshire for their feature meeting of the year.
Old Persian has been drawn out on the wing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf – stall ten of 10 – and William Buick will do well to get his mount competitive around the tight turns. Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old is 7/2 with BetVictor but confidence has certainly waned following the announcement of the draw.
Today’s jumps card at Newton Abbot was abandoned earlier in the week with more rain forecast for the west country. They do go on the polytrack at Lingfield this afternoon, however, and there are a couple of listed contests including the Fleur De Lys Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile.
Chaleur may have got a bit too far back at Newmarket last time, but she has a good draw this afternoon and is likely to get closer to John Gosden’s She Got You (2.30) than was the case at HQ. The selection was keen to post but went down by just a neck on that occasion and, after just six career starts, she remains open to further improvement. Rab Havlin takes over in the saddle and the filly has a good draw in stall four.
Expressionism created a favourable impression when scoring at Kempton last time although I think she was slightly flattered as the runner up – Illumined – failed to get home over that mile-and-a-half. A draw in stall 13 is less than ideal, however, and preference is for Delphinia (3.35) who represents Aidan O’Brien and is dropping down in grade this afternoon.
The selection has only got a Maiden win at Galway to her name, but she has finished second in her last couple of starts at Group 1 level including when going down by just a short head on Champions Day in the Fillies and Mares. The selection has a good draw in stall four and I hope Seamie Heffernan makes plenty of use of his daughter of Galileo.
The opening 10f Handicap looks to rest between the progressive three-year-olds Iron Mike (12.50) and Canasta with marginal preference for the Keith Dalgleish-trained grey who was a bit too keen over a mile-and-a-half at Wolverhampton last time.
There is a fantastic card at Stratford, and I am looking forward to seeing Black Op return to chasing after connections decided to revert to hurdles after just two starts over the larger obstacles last term. Tom George’s 8-y-old finished third in both those runs, but do note the three horses he finished behind, Defi Du Seuil x 2, Topofthegame and Lostintranslation were all subsequent Grade 1 winners.
He certainly has the scope for the larger obstacles, but I wonder if Lisnagar Oscar (2.20) will be too nippy for him around this tight track. The selection also has fitness on his side having finished runner up at Chepstow on his chase debut over 3m when a significant mistake at the last cost him the race. The selection is 33/1 with BetVictor for the RSA Chase although I am not concerned by today’s drop in trip to two-and-a-half miles.
Alnadam (3.55) makes his British/Rules debut for Dan Skelton in the 2m Novice Hurdle having cost connections £130,000 when winning a point in his native Ireland in March 2018. His subsequent absence from the track is a slight cause for concern but he is certainly in the right hands.
Adjourned won a Bumper for James Bethell at Southwell on debut – heavily backed – but disappointed on his first start for Kim Bailey at Wincanton. He represents a big danger with the yard in such good form.
The forecast rain failed to materialise for Financial Outcome (4.25) at Hereford on his chase debut but I am not giving up on the 6-year-old who is 3lbs lower this afternoon and should strip fitter with that run under his belt. I hope it is a good day for the Rebecca Curtis yard although I also believe both Black Tulip and Du Soleil are on winning marks at present.