BetVictor’s Charlie McCann previews Thursday’s cards
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls had an open day for the press on Tuesday and reading between the lines you got the impression that he was particularly sweet on the chances of Dreamcatching in the Fred Winter. Nicholls has saddled the winner of the corresponding race for the last couple of years and Dreamcatching is a 10/1 shot with BetVictor although I think Alan King might have a strong hand in this particular event.
The feature race at Wincanton this afternoon is the listed mares’ chase over two-and-a-half-miles and Desert Queen will be a warm order having made all in a similar contest at Leicester last month. That was a cracking effort but she must give 10lbs to her six rivals including Antartica De Thaix (3.10) who gets the vote for Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies.
The selection had the measure of Kim Bailey’s Sainte Ladylime when the latter fell at the last at Bangor and she had put in an exemplary round of jumping at the north Wales track. This is obviously a step up in grade and she would be even better off if this were a handicap but she looked potentially very smart when scoring at Bangor and gets the vote.
King Of Glory (3.45) looked to find three miles just a shade too far at Sandown on Friday and should appreciate this drop back in trip especially as Lemon’s Gent looks likely to make it a real test of stamina.
The selection might prefer softer ground but there is drizzle forecast on top of good to soft ground and significant rain would certainly be a negative for Lemon’s Gent. Note the selection is due to go up by 4lbs from Saturday and this is his last opportunity to run from his current mark.
The Dan Skelton yard having bounced back to form of late and Listen To The Man (2.35) can go one better than on her last couple of starts. The selection finished third in a listed bumper at Sandown last March and will need further in time, but she could be nicely treated for her handicap debut with the stable back amongst the winners of late.
At Sedgefield On The Road (2.45) has been given a short break since scoring at Lingfield last month from an 11lb mark but he looked a most progressive sort for Evan Williams prior to that success and the handicapper might not yet have his measure.
On official ratings, Vazirabad should take the Group 3 contest in France in the colours of His Majesty the Aga Khan but Beautiful Romance (4.50) looked a progressive sort down under when last seen in November and gets the vote for Saeed Bin Suroor and Oisin Murphy.
At Thurles Champagne Classic (3.00) is 8lbs better off with Tin Soldier for the two lengths he was beaten by the latter over three miles at Fairyhouse last month and the Gigginstown 6-year-old has subsequently scored cosily over 2m 6f here earlier in the month. We won’t see the best of the selection until he goes over a fence but he might be best served by the drop back to today’s 2m 4f trip.
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