Haydock have called a 2pm inspection for Wednesday’s jumps card with the track frozen in places although the executive was optimistic that the course would thaw in time for the meeting to go ahead.
Only four go to post for the Novice Chase but it is a terrific little race. Burrows Edge won the Lanzarote in 2020 and Nicky Henderson won the corresponding race three years ago, He fell four out on his chase debut at Ludlow, however, is returning from a 630-day lay-off and his best form is going right-handed.
Kiltealy Briggs is 0-6 over fences but finished runner up in a good Aintree handicap last time and is a horse I have always thought would win races over the larger obstacles. He could get a soft lead and is a big danger, but Coconut Splash (1.50) gets the vote having looked just in need of the run when third at Exeter on his reappearance.
This step up in distance looks sure to suit this 3m point winner who has only had seven races under Rules and has been on my radar since his novice hurdle wins. It is about time he turned promise and potential in the formbook into something more tangible. The selection is 5/4 from 6/4 at William Hill.
There is a cracking Veterans’ Chase and Up Helly Aa King ran as if in need of the outing when fourth at Kelso last month on his reappearance. I wonder if this extended 3m 1f will just stretch his stamina and I think the handicapper has given Blaklion (2.50) a chance and the 12-y-old gets the each way vote for Dan and Harry Skelton.
The gelding – 13/2 from 8s with Boylesports – was the only British-trained runner in the top ten home in the National back in the spring and I thought he shaped better than his finishing position would suggest in a better race than this at Bangor on his comeback. His last win was four years ago this month when he landed a gamble in the Becher Chase from a mark of 153 – he is 22lbs lower today.
Yes, he is not the force of old, but he should be staying on when others have cried enough, and he has a lovely racing weight today.
I’m not convinced Lovely Breeze (12.50) has been ridden to best advantage in recent starts and Cieren Fallon’s record on the 3-y-old is 222. The filly – 15/8 with William Hill -is well drawn in stall one today and I hope she is ridden a bit more prominently today given she is housed near Unique Cut who is likely to tow them along from stall three.
Wow William (5.00) promised to be well served by the trip up to 12f when scoring at Lingfield last time and a 6lbs rise may not prevent him following up at Kempton. Well-drawn in stall five he represents the yard of Sir Mark Todd who saddled a winner at Wolverhampton on Monday. There was 4s about early Tuesday evening but he is a best price of 10/3 with 10Bet at the time of posting.
The Bay Warrior made most at Chelmsford last time and there is little guaranteed pace in the race. I would not want jockey David Probert to be too far out of his ground on the selection if the race turned into a sprint from two furlongs out.