Altior made it nineteen out of 19 when landing the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday with connections now reported to be eyeing a step up to 3m in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day for which he is priced at 7/2 with BetVictor. The four-time Cheltenham Festival winner again showed a tendency to jump out to his left at the weekend and it would be the Betfair Chase at Haydock if he were mine. Note Altior is 20/1 at BetVictor to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2020.
Good ground forecast at Windsor today for their first evening meeting of the year. Eve Johnson Houghton had a winner at the last meeting here and her Kwela has a good chance in the opener with leading apprentice Georgia Dobie good value for her 7lbs claim.
Marginal preference, however, is for Gold At Midnight (4.55) who reverts to sprinting having failed to get home over a mile last time. Her Kempton maiden success last year for Sir Michael Stoute was gained over 7f but she has hinted this term that dropping back in trip may suit for William Stone who saddled a double at Brighton last week. She gets an each way vote.
There is much more to come from Sinjaari (7.00) this term and he is taken to go one better than when runner up to PrIvate Secretary at Redcar earlier in the month. The winner did us a favour when he ran away with a Sandown handicap on Friday and Oisin Murphy keep the ride for William Haggas. Godolphin’s Global Heat looks a threat as does David Simcock’s Durston and this looks a hot and, hopefully, informative maiden.
No show from New Show at Newbury on his reappearance but he is considered much better than he showed at the Berkshire track. He steps up in trip this afternoon but is best watched at present.
The lightly-raced Persian Sun (7.30) got off the mark at the fourth attempt at Newcastle over the winter and he is taken to follow up for Simon Crisford and Andrea Atzeni. Tiar Na Nog’s course form reads 212 and she can race from the same mark as when runner up over C&D back in September. The winner that day was Pentland Hills who went on to land the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March for Nicky Henderson.
Alan King won the feature race at Sandown on Saturday and the hope is that his Sula Island (3.30) can reverse recent C&D form with Vampish on 6lbs better terms at Wolverhampton. The mare needs a true test at 1m 4f and the hope is that jockey Finley Marsh ensures there is a decent enough gallop if nobody else wants to make it.
Mokaamal (4.35) refused to enter the stalls on his proposed comeback run at Nottingham earlier in the month but he showed enough on his sole juvenile start – runner up at Leicester in October – to command respect in today’s 7f maiden. He was weak in the market on debut, so he appeared to outrun stable expectations, but he represents the inform Sir Michael Stoute and is entitled to come on for that experience – if he consents to go forward at the stalls.
At Newcastle this afternoon Rewaayat (2.20) drops back to 6f having pulled too hard when second at Lingfield over 7f on his reappearance. The 4-year-old was gelded over the winter and is certainly bred to be better than his current mark. Note there was plenty of market interest – went off 13/8 favourite – in the son of Pivotal ahead of his comeback.
Trevithick must go close in the Mile Handicap with course form of 1228122 but marginal preference is for Bobby K (4.30) who won first time out last season and has not been out of the first three in his last six starts for Simon Crisford. The lightly-raced Bowerman is likely to be all the rage following his Nottingham comeback when fourth off this mark and he was only beaten a head by non-other than champion stayer Stradivarius on his racecourse debut over today’s C&D in November 2016.