WAR­RIOR CAN TELL A GOOD TALE AT AIN­TREE

The Racing Paper - - Tv Races And News - BEN MOR­GAN

Ain­tree 1.30 - Last year’s win­ner Blak­lion will be a warm or­der to dou­ble up and his sta­ble­mate Bal­ly­op­tic is also well fan­cied. How­ever, both have their fair share of weight to carry and I’d much rather take a chance on UL­TRAGOLD (NB) stay­ing the trip. Be­ing a win­ner of the Topham chase for two years on the bounce, he clearly loves this course and the unique test it pro­vides. He took the Topham this year on test­ing ground which would have taken some get­ting so I am hope­ful he is able to stay that lit­tle bit bet­ter now he is older. If he does stay, his dead-eye fenc­ing means he has a big chance.

Sandown 1.50 - Lalor is a hot favourite to take this on his sec­ond chase start and per­haps rightly so on the back of his Chel­tenham win. I wouldn’t be sur­prised if he took this but I can’t back him at 4/6. I can back DY­NA­MITE DOL­LARS, how­ever, as he is prov­ing to be a much bet­ter chaser than he was a hur­dler. He jumps soundly for a novice and of­fers a vi­able each way al­ter­na­tive.

Ain­tree 2.05 - DEFINITLY RED is def­i­nitely up to this grade which makes him al­most un­back­able in a race where his ri­vals have ques­tions to an­swer in graded com­pany. Brian El­li­son’s sta­ble star is as tough as teak with a touch of class who is one big win away from be­ing top, top class. His re­turn in the Char­lie Hall should have put him spot on and I ex­pect him to jump and gal­lop these into the ground.

Sandown 2.25 - An open race where I’M A GAME CHANGER looks to have ob­vi­ous claims. Philip Hobbs charge has been mix­ing be­tween the larger and smaller ob­sta­cles of late, per­form­ing ad­mirably in the process. You get the im­pres­sion he is a slightly bet­ter hur­dler than he is a chaser and that’s per­haps why Hobbs sends him to Sandown to­day as it is a nice pot to pick up. There are some classy sorts in the mix but they are also un­known sorts and some­times you have to stick to the tried and tested horses.

Ain­tree 2.40 - This race is not as hot as it should be and it will take a good one to get past GIV­ING GLANCES. Alan King knows what day of the week it is when it comes to ju­ve­nile hur­dlers and this could be one of his bet­ter ones. A classy Flat horse with a rat­ing of 86 means she should be a de­cent re­cruit to the Na­tional Hunt sphere and she cer­tainly looked good on de­but at Here­ford.

Sandown 3.00 - De­spite only four lin­ing up in this year’s Tin­gle Creek, it does not lack qual­ity. All four have a re­al­is­tic chance of win­ning but in my eyes AL­TIOR is miles clear of the rest. He has proven time and again just how good he is and it is re­mark­able that he has come along so soon af­ter Sprinter Sacre. This is his first run back but fit­ness is rarely an is­sue with a Hen­der­son run­ner and I can’t see any other re­sult bar an­other Al­tior vic­tory.

Ain­tree 3.15 - I was half ex­pect­ing WAR­RIORS TALE (NAP) to be de­clared for the Becher but Paul Ni­cholls has prob­a­bly made the right de­ci­sion send­ing him here as it looks much calmer. He proved in the Grand Na­tional last sea­son that he jumps these fences with ease and now that he is back over his best dis­tance I can see him gain­ing a de­served vic­tory. These flat tracks suit him well and I’m sure Ni­cholls has laid him out for this task so at 7/1 he rates a crack­ing bet.

Sandown 3.35 - A tough race to pre­dict usu­ally and I usu­ally get tempted by a un­ex­posed stayer and this year is no dif­fer­ent. Pam Sly’s ACTINPIECES is an ad­mirable mare who stays all day. She ran well in some tough races last year, car­ry­ing big weights in the process. Her come­back at Hunt­ing­don would have teed her up nicely for this.

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