Last weekend we tipped 13/2, 10/1 and 33/1 winners (plus two 16/1 places) from the seven races previewed at Cheltenham and today we focus on Haydock and Ascot.
Today’s big race is the Betfair Chase, which sees the return of one of our all-time favourites, Coneygree. It would be an amazing effort were he to win this race on heavy ground after such a long layoff, but it would be great to see him run well.
So if the former champion is a bit rusty who will come out on top?
Irish Cavalier won’t like the ground and Silviniaco Conti may not be the force of old after so many hard races.
That leaves the race at CUE CARD’s mercy unless Seeyouatmidnight can raise his game on his first start in this grade. Trip and ground should suit, and his yard is in fine form.
In the end, however, we expect the class gap to be just too big and provided he is ridden more patiently Cue Card can add another big prize to his amazing CV.
|Cue Card (win)||3.00 Haydock||9/4||Racebets|
Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle
The other big race at Haydock today is the valuable Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle.
Stamina will be key and one horse proven over further (and also on the ground) is POINT THE WAY. Brian Ellison is another man in form and this horse’s seasonal re-appearance should have put him spot on for this.
Also of interest is AFFAIRE D’HONNEUR, who has looked ready for a step up in trip for a while. He races very lazily, but has a lot of talent and is definitely better than his current mark. He will also enjoy sitting off the pace in this big field. All in all, this new test could be the making of him.
The challengers are endless and include Western Warrior, Two Taffs and Theo’s Charm, but of those at big prices chuck a few quid at MATORICO with Sky Bet who are offering 5 places each-way. This horse has been a bit of an enigma, but finally started to fulfil his promise at the end of last season. Jonjo O’Neill did us a favour last weekend by winning the big race and let’s hope lightening can strike twice here.
|Point The Way (ew)||2.25 Haydock||12/1||Bet365|
|Affaire D’Honneur (ew)||2.25 Haydock||12/1||Bet365|
|Matorico (ew)||2.25 Haydock||20/1||Sky Bet|
Cash Out In Running With Betfair Handicap Chase
The staying chase at 1.15pm will really take some getting in these conditions, but plenty of these are proven, dour stayers. It will probably be a case of who fancies it most on the day, but we like SUN CLOUD. His trainer has had five winners from his last 12 runners.
|Sun Cloud (ew)||1.15 Haydock||7/1||Bet365, Racebets|
Better Value With Betfair Handicap Chase
There is another handicap chase at the end of the day and Sue Smith has two strong claims here. Of her pair, we prefer DE VOUS A MOI.
|De Vous A Moi (ew)||3.35 Haydock||13/2||Bet365, Betfair|
Stella Artois 1965 Chase
Over at Ascot another of our favourites, God’s Own, steps up in trip in the Stella Artois Chase.
We think there is an outside chance Tom George’s stable star could develop into a Gold Cup horse as he has such a liking for decent ground in the spring.
This race will help connections determine whether they aim high or look more towards the Ryanair. He has to give weight away all around, but at least the ground isn’t as bad as predicted.
All in all it is hard to find an edge in this race, but EDUARD looks overpriced if back to his best after a long layoff.
|Eduard (ew)||2.05 Ascot||10/1||Bet365, Betfair|
Top class novice YANWORTH returns in the Coral Hurdle and should be backed in a double with Cue Card. He has everything in his favour here and it will be disappointing if he is beaten. Lil Rockerfeller looks the main danger.
|Yanworth (win)||2.40 Ascot||Evens||Bet365|
Shawbrook Handicap Chase
The Shawbrook Handicap Chase at 3.15 is a more interesting betting heat. CROCO BAY has had excuses on his last two starts and we think he can make amends here in a race he won in 2014.
The other one to back is SOME BUCKLE, who we think would have won for us last time out had he not made a terrible blunder four out.
|Croco Bay (ew)||3.15 Ascot||20/1||BetVictor|
|Some Buckle (ew)||3.15 Ascot||6/1||Bet365|
Neptune Investment Management NH Flat Race
Finally, for those looking to smash their way out of trouble at the end of the day keep an eye out for ON THE PROWL in the bumper.
He represents the same connections as Croco Bay and Ben Case is in great form. He also has an impressive 10% strike rate in bumpers.
|On The Prowl (ew)||3.50 Ascot||33/1||Sky Bet, Paddy Power|