Jack Milner of BetVictor.com previews Monday’s cards
Master Blueyes was the weekend’s standout performer, winning Kempton’s G2 Adonis Hurdle for trainer Alan King, and cut to 10/1 from 20s with BetVictor to continue his handler’s excellent record in the Triumph Hurdle on the fourth and final day of next month’s Cheltenham Festival. Odds-on favourite Charli Parcs came down two flights from home with the race seemingly in the balance and it will be fascinating to see where Nicky Henderson’s previously unbeaten gelding goes next. BetVictor eased him out to 10/1 for both the Triumph and the Supreme at the festival, with stablemate River Wylde cut to 12/1 from 20s for the latter after landing the G2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle under Nico de Boinville.
It was another excellent Saturday for in-form pilot Adrian Heskin, winning the bumper aboard Emma Lavelle’s Irish Prophecy and second in the feature BetBright Chase on Tom George’s Double Shuffle. He remains a 66/1 chance with BetVictor for Grand National success, with Willie Mullins’ Pleasant Company likewise popular at 33/1 after his Bobbjo success across the Irish Sea at Fairyhouse.
I’ve always though Chidswell (4.15) could win connections a nice pot and think he will head to Aintree on the back of success this afternoon at Ayr. Nicky Richards’ 8yo belatedly got off the mark over fences last time out at Sedgefield, winning a match at Sedgefield, after chasing home the smart pair of novices Cloudy Dream and Forest Bihan earlier in the season. The pair finished 1-2 in the G2 Lightning Novices’ Chase last month at Doncaster and through a similar form-line; Chidswell must go close upped in trip from an opening mark of 126 over fences.
Tom Scudamore has a strong book of rides and is a fascinating jockey booking aboard Fago in the Handicap Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles. The 9yo is making just his third start since leaving Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls last season and is best watched this afternoon, with Malcolm Jefferson’s Ryedale Dancer (4.45) preferred under regular partner Brian Hughes. The selection won twice over this afternoon’s trip earlier in the season and after failing to stay three miles at Haydock and Kelso, is a confident selection to make amends dropping down in trip.
Golden Jeffrey (5.15) was third at the track two weeks’ ago and with the benefit of experience can land the concluding bumper under 7lb conditional Alex Ferguson. The selection showed greenness when coming clear with the front two, eight lengths back to the fourth, and he can get his head in front in what looks on paper a weak bumper.
Verona Opera sets a fair standard in the opening 2m Novices’ Hurdle but I’d be disappointed if Tom Scudamore was unable to guide Irish raider Well Joey (2.10) to victory for Priscilla Dobbs. The well-bred son of Kayf Tara was well-backed when bumping into one last time out at Down Royal and can go one better for favourite backers in the opener.
There’s £20,000 up for grabs in the Wolverhampton feature with thirteen runners going to post for the 6f Handicap and Jamie Osbourne’s Russian Soul (3.55) chanced to make it third time lucky for new connections. The selection was smart in his native Ireland for former handler Michael Halford and built on his second on debut for the Osbourne yard when fourth over 7f last time out at Newcastle. He should appreciate the drop back in trip and can hopefully defy a wide-berth in stall 12 under the excellent Adam Kirby.
Kirby can complete a quick-fire double aboard Ed Dunlop’s Blushing Red (4.55) in the maiden over an extended nine furlongs. The well-bred colt made eye-catching late progress when fourth on debut at Yarmouth and remains open to much further improvement.
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