Horse Racing Preview – Punchestown, Sandown, Doncaster – 29th April 2017
Today’s horse racing preview comes from Punchestown, Ripon, Doncaster, Sandown and Haydock, with 7 selections across the meetings. Disappointed with the string of places yesterday, two winners though to add to the week.
The racing from Sandown and Punchestown will resolve both trainers’ titles up for grabs, Nicholls v Henderson and Mullins v Elliott.
13.50 Sandown – Bet365 Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (16f)
Do not be surprised to see multiple entries from both Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson yards as they go head to head for the trainer title. Seven Barrows look likely to prevail and have a fairly strong contender in the first with Call Me Lord who makes his debut for the trainer and what a berry stage to do it at Sandown.
The four-year-old looks a very progressive type after good wins in France up-to two and a half miles, he has been given a stiff mark of 135 though which is not that generous enough to exploit, but with the current rain forecasted he looks the one to beat.
Paul Nicholls has Dolos entered who has a vast amount of experience at this level, but most of his better form has been around the novice ranks, beaten off 132 at Ascot proves he is probably within the grasp of the handicap on what level of form he has shown.
So, the first race I actually do not fancy any of the main contenders, I have opted for Seamus Mullins Landin who ran at both festivals when competing in Grade 1 company. Leading up to those big steps in class he was consistent around the juvenile ranks placed on two occasions this year at Warwick. His opening handicap mark of 130 looks to give him a solid chance of at least running well in this.
Landin : 1pt each way @ 12/1 (BOG)
14.25 Sandown – Bet365 Oaksey Chase (Grade 2)
Without being detrimental towards two top trainers but they are really digging from their stars of old with Josses Hill who taking on a trip that looks beyond him, Vibrato Valtat has not won between the flags for 18 months and Art Mauresque would have to improve 14lb before even considering.
So that narrows the field down to two, Menorah and Traffic Fluide. At least Menorah won this race last year when beating Valseur Lido. With three of his four follow up runs he was placed which included a runner spot in last year’s Charlie Hall Chase and third in the long distance hurdle. He might be the ripe old age of 12, but is a sound jumper which has seen him never falling in his career.
Gary Moore’s Traffic Fluide just might be a little young taking on these big guns. Don’t get me wrong, he deserves his chance like the rest of the field, ran a cracker at Aintree when third to Fox Norton in the Melling Chase, the winner has taken the scalp of the mighty Un De Sceaux at this festival.
A winner over two miles around Sandown when competing around the novice ranks, he has a few years on his side here, a nice prospect and only seven years old. but he will learn again from this race that he has plenty of time to thrive next year.
Menorah : 2pt Win @ 2/1 (BOG)
14.35 Punchestown – Dooley Insurances Cross Country Chase (24f)
As we tend to follow Edna Bolger blind in these events, it has not been plain sailing this season, her stars of old are getting just that; old, but one in the locker is Love Rory. Course and distance winner three years ago has seen him decline, but he is still well treated and never runs a bad race around here.
Ran here two days ago over a longer trip when finishing fourth and will be interesting to see if he takes his chances here. But I would expect Ballyboker Bridge to add to his course and distance win last year when beating quite a few of these.
Since then he has run creditable behind Cantlow two times and had beaten Colour Squadron very easily this year at the course. He also holds his nearest adversary from Cheltenham.
Ballyboker Bridge : 2pt win @ 9/4 (BOG)
14.40 Haydock – Best Odds Guaranteed At 188bet Handicap (7f)
Richard Hannon’s Oh This Is Us should be most definitely exploiting his good draw in stall 1. He has kicked off his season well since returning from Dubai with just being denied at Doncaster in the Lincoln.
It’s a race that has found out handicapped horses, but he thrived when going on to win at Bath just holding on by a neck. It’s the best of races and with an entry in this year’s Queen Anne he is a very well thought of individual. If anything can foil him this might come from Twin Appeal who drew well clear at Musselburgh fourteen days ago, has to contend with a 4lb rise, if the selection has a day off he looks best of the field without him.
Oh This Is Us : 2pt win @ 3/1 (BOG)
17.25 Doncaster – Fine and Country Newcomers Maiden Stakes (5f)
I would like to think Richard Faheys juveniles are not that forward despite Darkanna costing just over 200K. She is bred for speed being by Dark Angel out of Jadanna/Mujahid, she should just on pedigree be too hot to handle, good to see Paul Hanagan back in the Fahey camp more often.
Big danger will no doubt come from Roger Varian’s Dahik, the juveniles from the yard have been what I would say forward compared to last year’s batch.
Darkanna : 2pt Win @ 5/2 (BOG)
17.40 Ripon – Traditional Family Funday Sunday 21st May Handicap (0-85)
This looks between the top two in the market being Washed and the selection Logi. The former will represent Robert Cowell’s yard, penny dropped really well when coming on from a poor debut run on the all-weather when winning at Catterick on his final start as a juvenile.
Handicap debut which looks poor by the standard and is one to keep on the right side of with Luke Morris in the plate, but I am with David Barron’s Logi who had a far busier juvenile campaign. Not wasting any time getting off the mark when winning at Wolverhampton when beating Jack the Truth by three and a half lengths.
Struggled over 6f here when seventh and this step back to 5f should see both Kodiac youngsters go well over the optimum trip with the slight push towards Logi who looks better drawn of the pair.
Logi : 2pt win @ 4/1 (BOG)
18.10 Punchestown – attheraces.com (PRO/AM) I.N.H.Flat (16f)
What a day yesterday for Patrick Mullins when taking both Grade 1’s, but back to reality and a bumper in which he rides winners for fun and I expect him to give a good account with Sparky Stowaway.
He is well related to a chase winner, with Dam a bumper winner and should make his presence felt here for Thomas Mullins. Dangers look to come from Martin Brassil’s You Raise Me Up who has a great pedigree through Presenting / Supreme Leader and swings my views slightly being a big fan of both sires.
The Shearers Wife represents Gordon Elliott, again nicely bred newcomer by Beneficial through blood line of Pistolet Bleu, but I think will come on after this outing.
You Raised Me Up : 1pt each way @ 9/1 (BOG)
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