A wonderful weekend of jumps racing with the rescheduled Betfair Hurdle meeting lost to frost last weekend rescheduled for Sunday to complement top class cards at Ascot, Haydock, and Wincanton tomorrow.
Oliver Sherwood has not saddled a winner in seven weeks, but he had a couple of seconds earlier in the week and I hope to see his Severano (1.50) land the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot. Winning connections will pick up just shy of £16,000 for landing this prestigious prize tomorrow – it was over 24k 12 months ago. The selection is 7/2 with BetVictor.
The selection was never going well after slipping and nearly unseating Brendan Powell at the first at Newbury last time and, in the circumstances, did well to be beaten just over 10L. He is 8lbs better off with Demachine for the 3L he was behind that rival at the Berkshire track, but I am convinced he is better than that. The selection has yet to win over 3m and is not guaranteed on breeding to get the step up in distance, but he has a very good record going right-handed and I feel he can reverse the form with Demachine who has had a wind operation since his last start.
Jerrysback (2.25) is on my shortlist for the Grand National in April and will, of course, escape a penalty for the great race if he takes today’s 3m handicap chase although he is number 73 on the list – 40 will go to post – and unlikely to get a run at Aintree.
The selection ran a terrific race on his first start in 400 days when a staying on third over a couple of furlongs shorter last month and he is entitled to come on for the run. His course record reads 233 and it is about time that he got his head in front. The 5s with William Hill 4 places looked attractive first thing Friday and he is 7/2 – 4 places – with Boylesports at the time of posting.
Gladiateur Allen (3.00) was a fluent winner here over 2m 5f last time and is taken to follow up in the competitive handicap hurdle over 2m 3f+ carrying just 10st 2lbs including his jockey’s allowance. The 5s – 5 places – looks fair with BetVictor although he will need an end-to-end gallop. There is not too much pace in the race at first glance although Kid Commando might lead and then stack them up. A sprint certainly would not suit the ew recommendation.
At Wincanton, Le Chameleon (2.13) is taken to defy the hat-trick bid of Flagrant Delitiep in the 2m 4f handicap chase. Bryony Frost takes over in the saddle on the selection – regular pilot David Noonan has a couple of fancied rides at Haydock – who has been raised 6lbs for scoring at Chepstow last time when he jumped slightly out to his right, He should be more at home going this way around and the 3/1 with 10bet looks a fair ew price – 2 places.
Angus Cheleda keeps the ride on Shantou Flyer (4.33) who finished fourth on his first start for Paul Nicholls over today’s C&D last month when he ran as if he would just come on for the outing. He has been dropped 1lb for his comeback and finished third in the Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in March. Indeed, his Festival record reads 223 and he is taken to return to winning ways. The selection is 13/8 with Boylesports.
Kim Bailey has bounced back to form after a quiet spell in recent weeks and Those Tiger Feet (5.08) can follow up his Ayr success from a 5lbs higher mark. The selection was considered a bright prospect when he landed his Bumper at Hereford on debut and the key is to keep him fresh given, he has an exemplary record first time out. He has been given 101 days to get over his Scottish victory and I think Bailey will have him primed for today. Brian Hughes takes over in the saddle and the 9/2 on Friday morning looked a fair ew price. The selection is a best price 3s with 10bet at the time of posting.