Ben Morgan provides the TV tips for today’s racing
A scot 1.50 - Today looks a day for the National Hunt purists. Good fields, good horses and plenty of mud, just what we have been yearning for. The opener on ITV is a competitive event and I fancy DE DOLLAR MAN to sluice along and build on what was a positive first run back.
Evan Williams’ young chaser was a decent novice hurdler before making the switch to fences last term where he experienced mixed fortunes. He looked good at times but he only saw the track four times so I presume he met some setbacks. Travelling sweetly on his return at Newbury, he radiated an aura of a reformed character before tiring late on. The heavy ground is in his favour today.
Haydock 2.05 - I was bitterly disappointed with BALLYMOY (NAP) after his defeat at Newbury but having watched the race a few times I am willing to forgive him for his effort.
He has been a horse on a steep upward curve, but was always going to be better suited to a longer trip which he tries today. The three which finished in front of him last time are all proper two mile hurdlers whereas he is a big, strong galloping horse who perhaps doesn’t own an electric turn of foot. I can see this trip and track bringing about further improvement and I am very sweet on him.
Ascot 2.25 - I’ve tried and tried to find something to put up against CALL ME LORD but truth is, I can’t find anything which I can make a strong enough case for. When this happens, I find it best to stick with the one you’re trying to get beat as it probably is the best horse.
Although unproven over this trip, he is a worthy favourite given what he showed at Sandown on the final day of last season. You can knock the form and say
his rivals were over the top but since he has come over from France he has had this ‘could be anything’ feel to him. The step up to three miles could be the key to him.
Haydock 2.40 - This will be a testing race and the winner will sleep well tonight. Mudlark TESTIFY could be the one to be on as he has a touch of class which will help him shoulder top weight. Donald McCain’s charge would have needed his opening run back so a poor effort is easily excused. He has already racked up a couple of course and distance wins on similar ground and that experience will stand him in good stead.
Ascot 3.00 - Gold Present is favourite but is easily opposed as he hates soft ground. Thomas Patrick loves the surface but has questions to answer after a disappointing run in the Ladbrokes Gold Cup. He could get an easy lead though, and therefore he rates a big danger.
I’m siding with JAMMIN MASTERS however, after he looked a much improved horse on his return at Carlisle. Warren Greatrex has always said he would be a decent 3 mile chaser on soft ground and he looks to be correct. He made good ground at Carlisle under a hands and heels ride from Richard Johnson and if he can tidy up his jumping he should be bang there.
Ascot 3.35 - The second and third ofthat Ballymoy race reoppose here. It was tough to split them as Lisp has bags of scope but MONT DES AVALOIRS (NB) looks a real classy type and travelled beautifully in that Newbury race.
He looks a strong, solid horse who possesses a high cruising speed. Paul Nicholls rates him highly and although he will only live up to his potential when he meets a fence, I suspect there is a good hurdle race in him beforehand. At 14/1 he rates a cracking each way bet.
BEN MORGAN on the TV races