Saturday, 21 November 2015

Betfair Chase Day at Haydock

It's a busy Saturday for the stables that we are following with 8 runners or so each but because of time constraints I'm just going to cover Paul Nicholls at Ascot :

12.20 - Red Hanrahan was purchased at the Cheltenham April Sales for 150,000 having won his second Irish point at Durrow on heavy going impressively having fallen on his debut. He is a scopey gelding by what promises to be a top national hunt sire and he seems to possess plenty of stamina. Whether his price tag is justified remains to be seen. He returned at Wetherby on good to soft going in a national hunt novices hurdle over 2m 3f 154y where he fell 3 out when leading by 3 lengths and looking as though he would have won, he was going so well. He steps up a couple of furlongs now and he has a very good chance of recording a win. Neumond, American and Label Des Obeaux appear to be the main dangers in that order.

2.05 - Ptit Zig was a Grade 1 hurdle winner but chasing was always been the long term plan and he won 4 chases on the bounce between November and January last season. Consequently he started this season on a rating of 157 and he went over to Down Royal in the Grade 2 Powers Irish Whiskey Chase over 2m 4f on yielding to soft. Paul Nicholls thinks he will stay 3m so the extra furlong, soft going and stiff right handed track will all help his cause here in this Grade 2. The initial plan for the first half of the season had been the King George but that appears to have been revised to the Peterborough Chase. He has a tendency to jump out to his right and his jumping was a bit sketchy at Down Royal but I would imagine he will have been heavily schooled since then but that said his jumping is probably the reason for not going for the King George. Even with race fitness on his side he is going to find it difficult to give 5lb to Vautour as Ptit Zig's handicap rating is 12lb inferior to Vautour's.

3.15 - Fago pulled up on his only appearance last season when he was top weight in a Chepstow handicap. An injury has prevented him from returning to the track since then. First time out in 2013 he was the stables entry in the Haldon Gold Cup and he was campaigned at Graded level so they obviously think he has the ability. He returned in a Listed handicap chase over 2m 3f at Wetherby on 30/10 off a rating of 145 and he ran an encouraging race to finish 2nd to Wakanda. He put in some great leaps there and he came up the straight on the bridle only to clout the last but I don't think he was pushed about on his first run back after his break and he will surely step up here and take all the beating. The 2m Class 2 handicap chase at Cheltenham in October saw a number of these come up against each other when Dan Skelton's Workbench finished 2nd to Boondooma with Dunraven Storm third and Turn Over Sivola 5th(NR). It's more likely than not that Workbench will again come out best of that trio.

3.50 - Semper Invicta is a new recruit from Ireland having run just the once in a point to point where he finished 2nd of 5 at Punchestown. He was purchased at the Brightwells Cheltenham festival sale for £90,000 in March. Said to be big and backward the chances are he will need the run and he will do well if he gets close to Alan King's Criq Roq.

Toby Lerone and Fou Et Sage would be the most likely winners of the Dan Skelton's for me but a few others could run well too. At Haydock Silvianaco Conti, Irving and Alcala all look likely of bold shows for Paul Nicholls.

Alcala - 0.50 points ew at 10/1 with Paddy Power, Betfred and others
Fago - 0.50 points ew at 6/1 with Betfred and Totesport

Good Luck !!

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