It's Friday and here's Nick Hardman from the Betting School Insiders Club.
We had another terrific Friday last week courtesy of Nicky Henderson’s hurdlers and he rattled up a hat-trick across the cards with winners at 6/1, 4/1 and 9/4. With Chepstow abandoned and nothing making any appeal at Musselburgh, we turn out attention back to the AW and some qualifiers from the systems we are road testing over at the Betting School Insiders Club which are ticking over nicely.
There are no qualifiers from Lingfield but we have a few from the evening card at Wolverhampton below:
5.15pm Solar Deity & Linton
5.45pm Harwoods Star
6.15pm Little Lord Nelson
6.45 Go Packing Go & Sciustree
Solar Deity looks to have a good chance to get off the mark in 2015 after a string of placed efforts. He is rated 6lbs higher than his nearest rival on official ratings but is well-in under these weights. He rates a solid bet and I expect him to shorten so take the best morning price with a Best Odds Guaranteed bookmaker.
Stablemate Linton needs to recapture the form that saw him win plenty of races in Australia and compete in a pair of Listed races on the flat last year. I would be as surprised as anyone if Linton were to take this from his stablemate but he is one that may tempt the each-way backers at a price.
Harwoods Star got turned over at 4/9 on his last start but has a chance of making amends here back up in trip and with7lb claimer Aaron Jones back on board. The yard are in excellent form too so he is worth another chance.
The same trainer and jockey team up on Little Lord Nelson in the next and he also has decent chance on handicap debut. The final race will most likely see Charlie Appleby’s New Approach colt Symbolic Star go off a warm order. If he takes a chunk out of the market that could see our two qualifiers go off at an each-way price.
Sciustree is related to plenty of winners and was 6th of 12 on debut and should improve for that experience. Go Packing Go is also well related and makes her debut here.
Saturday’s feature race is the Clarence House Chase which sees the return of the mighty Sprinter Sacre. I for one will be hoping he doesn’t just win this, but wins in the manner of a horse that totally dismisses his rivals. Racing needs superstars and we want this one back. With that in mind it is a watching race and not a betting race for me.
For a selection on Saturday I have run the rule over the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock from a trends perspective.
We have a shortlist of 4 qualifiers in Vintage Star, Benbens, Amigo and Toby Lerone. Benbens had Amigo some 20 lengths behind in the Welsh National and I cannot see any reason why Amigo should turn the tables here.
Toby Lerone put in a career best last time when finishing second to Broadway Buffalo in the Tommy Whittle Chase at this venue. He is up 6lbs for that and could still be improving. That was on heavy ground too, which he will likely get again on Saturday.
Vintage Star is 4lbs lower than when runner-up in this race last year. He is also back down to his last winning mark that saw him win a Graduation Chase at Carlisle on heavy ground over 3m 1f.
He has not performed that well in 3 starts this season but he has yet to see really testing ground which he may well get on Saturday. Trainer Suzy Smith has an excellent record in the race having trained 2 winners, a runner-up and two third placed finishers since 2000.
It’s a leap of faith but I am willing to make him one of my selections from the shortlist in the hope this is a true test of stamina.
I am torn between Benbens and Toby Lerone for my second selection but I will side with Benbens as the father & son Twiston-Davies combination has been in fine form recently. In addition he was travelling as well as anything in the Welsh National until running out of gas about three flights from home. Back down in trip I think he can go well.
Saturday Haydock 3.15pm
Vintage Star e/w
The one runner who does interest me on Saturday’s cards is super-tough mare Carole’s Spirit in the Mare’s Hurdle race at Ascot.
A winner of 4 of her 5 starts her only defeat came at the hands of Highland Retreat who has gone on to be an exciting novice chaser for Harry Fry.
Against her own sex and proven over track, trip and ground I expect her to go very close.
Saturday Ascot 1.50pm
Betting School Insiders Club