In his second preview for Saturday, Ceebee looks at some of the other races at Haydock and has brief thoughts on the rest of the weekend, including the ideal time to take a nap!
The 1.00 at Haydock, opening the card, has some interesting horses running.
Bold Sir Brian looks well handicapped on his best form, but how much ability he retains after a few setbacks is a big question mark.
Corrin Wood was once a decent chaser (similarities to his trainer I guess).
I thought Barafundle had a chance in the Fixed Brush Hurdle, but boy was I wrong. The one who appeals to me is Shotavodka.
The positives: this 2m6f+ trip will suit. He has tried 3miles on a few occasions and has never really convinced as a stayer. His last good run (2nd at Carlisle) came over 2m4f and his last win came over 2m6f. The track will also suit as the latter win came here and he had placed at Haydock on his previous start. He’s well handicapped. He runs off a mark of 132 today. He has won off 132 and 141 before. Placed off 137 and 140 too.
The negatives: He was absolutely rancid last time. It was at Newbury and he was beaten before they turned out of the back straight. It was so bad I’d hope there was a genuine excuse afterwards. What may help is the change in headgear. He’s a quirky sort so cheek pieces to blinkers may bring back a little spark. Prior to Newbury he had run well at both Carlisle and Newcastle. Form that has worked out – the winner of both those races has won again since.
He’s a risky bet but at the prices there’s enough positives.
1.5pt win Shotavodka at 14/1 with Bet365 and BetVictor
2.40 Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial
In name only. I’m not sure what my approach would have been if Peace and Co turned up, because I’d imagine I’d have been eager to take him and The New One on. As it stands he didn’t declare, but I’m still quite eager to take on The New One.
He struggled through the mud to win this race last year in unconvincing style. He just hasn’t looked the same horse he was 2 seasons ago, due mostly to his kissing spine problem. But I feel he is still priced (2/5 here) as though he’s a top class horse. The form of his last effort finishing alongside Hargam isn’t great. The New One concedes 8lbs to his rivals here so on official ratings he only has between 3-8lbs in hand. He’ll need to run up to scratch and I suspect he will not do so. 2miles at Haydock is rather flat and fast so for one who looks in need of further it’s not ideal either.
Captain Conan is hard to trust after 2 years off, whilst Strongpoint and Fou Et Sage (yet to beat a horse in the UK) look outclassed.
Heavy ground was no hindrance to Rayvin Black when winning in game style at Sandown last time. He had Melodic Rendezvous behind in 3rd. Melodic has a 13lb swing at the weights, but was hammered 17L, so I expect Rayvin to confirm placings. Melodic was a touch disappointing to me when behind Irving earlier in the season. His days of winning Grade 2 hurdles could be over.
Rayvin Black will jump out in front and go a strong gallop testing his opponents in tough conditions. They’ll need to be tough to get by him. I think they’ll be found wanting.
1 point each way Rayvin Black at 12/1 with Paddy Power, Betway, Betfair Sports and Stan James
Not much appeals on the valuable Ascot card. Although I will be including Desert Queen in a few each way multiples. Having Fehily back on board, getting weight from her rivals and the marginally shorter trip will all suit. I wouldn’t be at all surprised were she to overturn Vroum Vroum Mag.
If I am having a bet in Navan it could be Bright New Dawn. He had shown an increased level of form for his new yard prior to his last effort where nothing went right for him. He should have the class to handle this lot.
Later in the day it’ll be interesting to see if Smoking Big Cigars is popular in the market; he was the last day. I’d also (as usual) be eager to take on Champagne James.
At Leopardstown on Sunday I suspect I will be cursing Paul Townend (& Willie Mullins) for not being aggressive enough on Nicholls Canyon. Then post-race I’ll be lumping on Arctic Fire e/w for Cheltenham after he finishes 2L behind Faugheen who made all at a slow pace. I may be snoozing during the Arkle.