BetVictor’s Charlie McCann previews Tuesday’s cards
Only seven entries for the Grade 1 Ascot Chase on Saturday and hard to oppose BetVictor’s 4/9 favourite Cue Card who drops back in trip having finished runner up to Thistlecrack when last seen at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
Sizing John was an impressive winner of the 3-mile Irish Gold Cup on Sunday and has been trimmed from 16s to 12/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at BetVictor although he still has stamina to prove when tackling the extended three-and-a-quarter miles plus next month.
Soft ground is the order of the day at Fontwell for this afternoon’s six-race card and Kayf Adventure (2.30) ran a cracker on his return from a near two-year lay-off when third at Exeter on New Year’s Day behind the subsequent Grade 2 winner Neon Wolf.
The runner up (Coole Cody) failed to frank the form at Market Rasen last week but the fourth home (Touch Kick) ran a personal best behind Nicky Henderson’s Gaitway at Musselburgh earlier in the month and I would be disappointed if the selection didn’t go very close for the yard of Philip Hobbs.
I thought Un Anjou (3.00) looked to be coming back to something like his best when fourth at Ludlow last month when he travelled like the best horse in the race for much of that contest. Aidan Coleman keeps the ride on the nine-year-old who has been dropped a further 2lbs and gets the vote in the handicap chase over an extended two miles.
The Mighty Don receives 6lbs from the penalised Casper King and is an interesting contender in the EBF Novices’ Hurdle but he may need better ground and Cash Again (3.30) gets the vote for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies who gets a rare ride in the JP McManus’ silks.
The selection wasn’t given the best of rides at Ffos Las last time and I hope to see him ridden more prominently with the yard back in good form after their January lull.
Leg Lock Luke (4.00) has finished runner up in his last two starts on right-handed tracks and can race off the same mark as when second to the progressive Amber Gambler at Taunton last time. If he copes with this unique figure of eight track he must go close although he is proving expensive to follow.
The four-year-old filly Reel Leisure (4.30) receives plenty of weight from the other principles in the Fillies’ and Mares’ bumper and the booking of Harry Cobden is a plus given the race is confined to amateur and conditional jockey’s only.
The ground is also described as soft at Ayr where the progressive Mumgos Debut (3.50) and Casual Cavalier clash in the 2m handicap chase with marginal preference for the former, trained by Lucinda Russell.
The selection was clear when coming down at the last when last seen on New Year’s Eve and the winner (Special Wells) has followed up at Wetherby, albeit stepped back up in trip. Mumgos Debut stays further than the minimum trip and the hope is that jockey Grant Cockburn is alert to this and I hope he tries to make all if no other jockey is prepared to go on.
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