Another interesting Saturday’s racing ahead tomorrow. The Tingle Creek Chase dominates the card at Sandown while, up at Aintree, the Becher Chase takes centre stage.
At Sandown the Tingle Creek features a few of my favourite horses. I’d love to see Un De Sceaux win, while the likes of Defi De Seuil, Waiting Patiently and Sceau Royal are all extremely likeable. But while all are respected, at the prices I think JANIKA (10/1 Paddy Power) warrants a bet.
He’s run 5 times for Nicky Henderson since arriving from France. Runner up on his first three starts in the UK, the last of those was an excellent second in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Steel Plate at the festival, finishing half a length behind Siru Du Lac while running off top weight and a mark of 156.
He then finished fourth in the Topham before a summer break. He broke his UK duck on his return, comfortably beating Dolos in an impressive seasonal reappearance.
This will be his first run over two miles but he has shown plenty speed over slightly further and enjoys cut. He holds a decent chance on known form and may have a bit more to give still. I think 9/1 underplays his chance a little in what should be a great race to watch.
Earlier on the same card I think GRAND SANCY (9/2 bet365) is over-priced in the Henry VIII Novices Chase. This is his chasing debut but he’ll be well schooled and his hurdles form was both progressive and high class. His good second to Fusil Raffles last time showed he is currently in good form. His chief rivals have some chasing experience and are priced accordingly but I think the price warrants the risks related to Grand Sancy’s potential jumping flaws.
Finally, up at Aintree, WALK IN THE MILL (9/1 Bet365, William Hill and BetVictor) looks to have been prepared especially for an attempt to repeat last year’s Becher Chase win. He had two starts on the National course last year, winning this same race well last December before a great run when fourth in the Grand National itself.
He was pulled up on his reappearance in the Badger Beers Handicap Chase at Wincanton but this will have been the plan. He’s been dropped 3lbs since his National fourth and is only 4lbs higher than when winning this well last year. On what is a specialist’s course he has plenty in his favour and should be shorter than 9’s in my view.
Have an enjoyable racing Saturday, hopefully we can notch up a winner or two to reverse our recent run.