Good morning all,
Plenty to get stuck into over the Easter weekend and my best bets are on the main piece today.
Grand National next Saturday and I'll have my Pinstickers guide ready for you.
2.40 Haydock – 3m1½f Handicap Chase
A few of these have met each other this season and have taken it in turns to beat each other, and as a result pretty much look weighted to the hilt. Debece is bound to be popular on only his second start for Dan Skelton but he had his chance at Sandown and blew it, so I’d not want to be getting involved at short prices. Instead, with Sue Smith back in form, I’d take a chance on the unexposed (over fences at least) Silva Eclipse to follow up his Sedgefield win last month, as he likes it here at Haydock (only out of the frame once in seven starts) and still looks on a fair mark compared to the best of his hurdles form.
He jumped well in the main when scoring, beating an in-form rival in Who’s In The Box and with fourth home Rock On Fruity a winner earlier in the week, it gives the overall form a solid look. He might not want it to dry out a lot more but that’s rarely an issue on the chase course Haydock, and he can win again.
3.15 Haydock – 3m½f Handicap Hurdle
Whilst there are no plans to water the chase course, the hurdles course is drying out that bit quicker and there’s 5mm going down on Thursday. Hopefully that won’t get in too much as I fancy one that needs it too keep drying, and that’s Neverbeen To Paris.
After a pretty rotten season by his own high standards, Harry Whittington’s yard seems to be coming back to form, with a couple of winners at Sedgefield earlier in the week emphasising the fact. He;s got ground to make up on Regarding Ruth and Iwilldoit (himself not without interest) on their Newbury running last time but that was Neverbeen To Paris’s first start since late November, and he shaped perfectly well in sixth, moving up to throw down a challenge three put before getting tired. That should have put him bang on for this and with useful conditional Alan Doyle taking another 7lb off, he looks very attractively weighted.
2.25 Musselburgh – 1m Handicap
The assumption is that Forest Falcon’s Yarmouth win last September must be no good, as the 4-11 favourite Francesco Guardi disappointed (last) and he wasn’t left with a lot to beat, but the clock says differently and even if the favourite had run as he ought to have done, he still might not have beaten the impressive all-the-way winner.
As such, a mark of 83 looks a perfectly good start point for this season, and he looks just the type to do better at three. The dam was a 10f winner, so you can expect him to get further, and if allowed the same sort of rope he got at Yarmouth, might be hard to catch here.
3.00 Musselburgh – 5f Handicap
The evergreen Caspian Prince has been in good form in Meydan this winter and ran right up to some of his best form of last year when taking on some much higher-rated rivals last time, beaten 2¾l after showing his usual customary early speed. There’s no Equilateral or Acklam Express (who gave that form a shot in the arm when third in the Grade 1 there earlier in the week) here and in a race lacking any real early pacers to challenge him (possibly Latin Five, himself interesting as far as the rest of the season goes) he might make all again on a track he’s won at twice before.
Today's selection – Neverbeen To Paris (e/w) 3.15 Haydock
Good luck with all your bets today,