The top class ten-year-old Shishkin will make a bold bid in the Gr 2 Betfair Denman Chase (Picture: Edward Whitaker)
At The Races
1 2:55 PM – Betfair Racing Podcasts Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race)
MAKING HEADWAY takes in this assignment after an intended visit to Bangor on Friday was scuppered by the weather. The six-year-old went close to plundering a Grade 2 prize at Haydock prior to an honourable fourth in the Formby Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, and he could be a league above these. It isn’t a penalty kick, though, because East India Express’ fourth over further here is working out well, while Hasthing is on a hat-trick and could have still more to offer.
Top Tip: MAKING HEADWAY (3)
Watch out for: EAST INDIA EXPRESS (2)
2 3:30 PM – Betfair Serial Winners Fund Handicap Hurdle
EMITOM, a Grade 2 winner and fourth in a Stayers’ Hurdle in his pomp, has proven that he retains plenty of enthusiasm for the game this season. His second to Saint Davy at Ludlow was given a boost when the winner landed a premier handicap at Sandown last weekend, and Alan King’s 10-year-old handles testing conditions. So, too, does Kyntara, whose last-flight stumble arguably cost him a hat-trick at Warwick. Judicial Law has been freshened up since a Cheltenham disappointment, while Wiseguy is interesting on his return from fences.
Top Tip: EMITOM (3)
Watch out for: KYNTARA (4)
3 4:05 PM – Betfair Denman Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)
Shishkin appeared to have things in control in the King George when stumbling and unseating his rider just after the second last. Despite Hewick picking up the pieces against Bravemansgame and Allaho, the 10-year-old’s stamina and usual finishing effort would likely have been enough to hold on. That being said, he refused to race on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot and has shown signs of that in the past, most notably his last two appearances at Cheltenham, and it would be no surprise if PROTEKTORAT came out on top. Bouncing back from a lacklustre Betfair Chase effort, he produced a fine performance in handicap company at Cheltenham before giving L’Homme Presse plenty to think about at Lingfield. He jumped particularly well on his latest outing and a similar performance gives him every chance. Sam Brown returned to form when taking the Veterans’ Final at Warwick and may prove best of the remainder, with both Hitman and Does He Know having questions to answer.
Top Tip: PROTEKTORAT (1)
Watch out for: SHISHKIN (2)
4 4:40 PM – Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)
This can go the way of EDWARDSTONE, who is on a retrieval mission after a heavy defeat in the Silviniaco Conti over further at Kempton last month. A creditable second to Jonbon on his two previous efforts this season, Alan King’s charge still sets the standard on form and the former Grade 1 winner should have too much for progressive handicapper Boothill, who must prove himself at this level. Editeur Du Gite has strong claims on his penultimate success in the Desert Orchid, while last year’s winner Funambule Sivola is another to consider.
Top Tip: EDWARDSTONE (2)
Watch out for: BOOTHILL (4)
5 5:15 PM – Betfair Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)
This prestigious contest has favoured more battle-hardened hurdlers in recent years, which bodes well for the consistent LOOKAWAY, who was only worn down late on when runner-up in the Challow here last time out. The seven-year-old proved himself in a big-field handicap when second to the reopposing Iberico Lord in the Greatwood and conditions should be of no concern. Under Control arrives on the back of a creditable effort in Grade 2 company at Doncaster, while Ocastle Des Mottes is of interest on his first start for the Willie Mullins yard. Last-time-out winners Luccia and Spirit D’aunou are capable of being in the shake-up, as well as Altobelli and Brentford Hope.
Top Tip: LOOKAWAY (5)
Watch out for: SPIRIT D’AUNOU (2)
6 5:50 PM – Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race)
Jonjo O’Neill sent out of the winner of this race last year and can repeat the feat if INCH HOUSE shows the same level of determination he has since being sent chasing. A winner over the extended 2m6f at this venue on his penultimate start, the selection wasn’t the most fluent at his fences that day but made up for it with tenacity and stamina. Makin’yourmindup is another live contender who is open to progression over fences, while Mister Coffey is noted despite the burden of top-weight.
Top Tip: INCH HOUSE (2)
Watch out for: MAKIN’YOURMINDUP (5)
7 6:25 PM – Betfair Exchange Beacons Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Listed) (GBB Race)
ROYAL INFANTRY got off the mark under Rules in fine style in a Doncaster bumper last month and this well-bred five-year-old is too bright a prospect to ignore. Histrionic could well emerge as the better of the two Paul Nicholls-trained runners and commands respect given he holds previous C&D experience. Union Avenue is 2-2 in bumpers and cannot be ruled out given his progressive profile, while Noahsgreatrainbow is another to watch out for.
Top Tip: ROYAL INFANTRY (6)
Watch out for: HISTRIONIC (1)