Our lass has tested positive for Covid. Thankfully it looks to be mild. I have cold like symptoms and I’m feeling a bit ropey but my two LFT’s are coming up negative. Although I have ordered a PCR test just to be on the safe side.
There are two cases going on involving the jockey room. One is the Freddie Tylicki £6m negligence claim in the High Court against fellow rider Graham Gibbons and of course the other is the Robbie Dunne hearing at the BHA. Both cases are not reflecting well on the weighing room.
The Dunne case has gone well beyond weight room banter. I think jockey’s need to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror. They seem to have let the sport down and very badly. Bullying and misogyny is just not acceptable and the weighing room has to get its act together and sharpish. Let’s hope this hearing leads to the sport dealing with those dishing out the abuse.
That’s the off-field activity out of the way. Back to another exciting weekend of jumps racing.
Something for the weekend – Part 2
It's not just Sandown on Saturday though. Aintree hosts an eight-race card which includes the Becher Handicap Chase (2:40) run over the National fences and the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase (2:05). ITV are covering four races live from Sandown and four from Aintree as part of an eight programme.
A stellar weekend of jump racing continues on Sunday. Over at Punchestown it’s Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase (2.00). Which could see the return to action of dual Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo.
This side of the Irish Sea. Huntingdon stages its most valuable days racing of the year. With feature race of a seven-race card being the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase (1.52). Last year’s race had to be run at Cheltenham due to flooding. There shouldn’t be any problems with flooding at the track this year.
The going at Aintree is being described as soft, good to soft in places at the time of writing and I wouldn’t expect it to be that much different come Saturday.
Unibet Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Normally I would do a full trends analysis of the Becher Chase but in truth but I don’t really have the energy to do it today. However, here are few of the main contenders.
The Grand National fences are back in action at Aintree on Saturday. Last year’s race was won by Vieux Lion Rouge. Who had also been successful in the 2016. The 12-year-old is 5lb higher than 12 months ago but he won by 24 lengths that day so that small rise in the weights shouldn’t stop him form going close again this year. The going could be key to whether he can make it back to back wins in the race. He does like soft ground.
Ante post favourite Escaria Ten is being aimed at the Grand National and will have his first sight of the unique fences on Saturday. He posted a personal best when a 3 lengths 3rd of 12 to Galvin in National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s having his first start since pulling up in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April.
Snow Leopardess has been aimed at this race all season and the mare must be respected on her recent Bangor seasonal reappearance success. The mare jumped well last time and although she’s been raised 5lb for that success is on the upgrade. Must be high on the shortlist.
Mighty Thunder won Edinburgh National Handicap Chase at Musselburgh and Scottish Grand National at Ayr last season. The 8-year-old found things happening far to quick in the Charlie Hall Chase on his seasonal return and will be sharper for that run. He needs a really stamina test to win on Saturday though but at least connections will see if he takes to the National fences.
2:15 – Two morning non-runners mean just five go to post for this handicap chase. Captain Tommy a winner at Uttoxeter (good to soft) in May off today’s mark. He hasn’t really fired on either start since returning from a summer break. However, he’s on a decent enough mark should he bounce back to his best and shouldn't have any issues with the good ground.
Selection: Captain Tommy.
Good luck with your Thursday bets.