Busy Satur­day in store at Chep­stow and fur­ther afield

Bristol Post - - SPORT - Jim BEAVIS post­[email protected]

SATUR­DAY’S Tin­gle Creek Chase at Sandown is go­ing to be a top-class af­fair, with the reign­ing two-mile cham­pion chaser Al­tior mak­ing his sea­sonal reap­pear­ance and some stiff op­po­si­tion lin­ing up against him in a small but select field. Watch your bets; Un De Sceaux, the Wil­lie Mullins-trained win­ner of 22 of his 29 races is a reg­u­lar at this level, has won this race be­fore and is equally adept at that dis­tance and two and a half miles. Sceau Royal is a sec­ond­sea­son Alan King chaser who is 5-6 over fences. Saint Cal­va­dos is only a five-year-old yet his record over the big­ger ob­sta­cles is al­ready 4-5.

Ear­lier that af­ter­noon, the highly promis­ing Lalor has his se­cond out­ing over fences for the Wool­la­cott sta­ble in the Henry VIII Novices Chase. The Becher Chase, over the last three-and-a-quar­ter miles of the Grand Na­tional course, is the high­light at Ain­tree on Satur­day. Nigel Twis­ton-Davies’ Ain­tree-lov­ing Blak­lion is the favourite. It’s rash to dis­miss any of the sta­ble’s run­ners over these fences and their Bal­ly­op­tic, beaten a nose in the Scot­tish Na­tional, is next in the bet­ting. Even though the ob­sta­cles aren’t as for­mi­da­ble as they used to be, some horses con­tinue to ex­cel there. Other course win­ners run­ning are Ul­tragold, Vieux Lion Rouge and High­land Lodge. New­com­ers to the track in­clude the for­mer Gold Cup third Don Poli, dual Badger Ales win­ner Present Man and the Kim Muir win­ner Missed Ap­proach.

A feast of rac­ing at these two cour­ses can be en­joyed on the TVs at Chep­stow, who have their own seven-race card to­mor­row be­gin­ning at 12.20.

Bu­veur D’Air im­pressed win­ning the Fight­ing Fifth at New­cas­tle last week­end and ap­pears des­tined for a third Cham­pion Hur­dle pro­vided he keeps sound. Siz­ing Ten­nessee, who is nearly 11 years old, was win­ner of a sub-stan­dard Lad­broke Tro­phy at New­bury. Many of the main con­tenders dis­ap­pointed.

At The Races is go­ing to be re­named Sky Sports Rac­ing on Jan­uary 1. The chan­nel will lose its right to show Ir­ish rac­ing, but at least this means more cov­er­age of the 24 British cour­ses. They in­clude Bath, Chep­stow and all the other Arc tracks. Every meet­ing will have a Sky re­porter present.

Next sum­mer seems a long way off, but an­nual mem­ber­ship at Bath race­course in 2019 costs only £210 be­fore the end of this month. As well as their 22 fix­tures, mem­bers get free ad­mis­sion at rac­ing staged by the other 15 Arc cour­ses.

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