Weekend Eyecatchers

Good morning all,

Eyecatchers from Newbury and Fairyhouse over the next couple of days on the Punt, and later in the week, anything that's caught my eye at Southwell and Rasen (the ports of call this week) to report on as well.

Trincomalee (Lucy Wadham)

12.15 Friday, Maiden Hurdle

Had shown a decent level of form when third at Kempton on his previous start but improved significantly on that here, getting in amongst horses from the Nicholls, Henderson, Tizzard and Fry yard in finishing a close third. He travelled as well as anything throughout the race and traded under 3-1 in the run before just flattening out a little in the last 200yds. On this, a bit further might suit him but he’s worth following with a good handicap in mind. Coming from the yard he does, he might go off a bit overpriced as well.

12.45 Friday, Handicap Chase

Sully D’oc AA (Anthony Honeyball)

Yes, we all saw what the winner, Fanion D’Estruval did to them – he took them apart, barely coming off the bridle in the process and looks a very smart performer for Venetia Williams. But the world and his dog will want to be on next time and he’ll not be much value. It’s the second home, Sully D’oc (the AA, by the way, stands for Anglo-Arabian) that I’ll want to be with next time, as he probably had no chance against a clearly well-treated rival, yet travelled really well throughout and came clear of the third, Southfield Stone, on the run-in. This was a step up on his Ascot effort earlier in the month and he looks a smart prospect for fences this season in his own right.(Update – handicapper has left him alone this morning, whereas winner Fanion D'Estruval gets 12lb. That's a bonus!)

2.25 Friday, Berkshire Novices Chase

Mont Des Avaloirs (Paul Nicholls)

The front four all come out of this with a lot of credit – Champ for his never-say-die attitude after looking well beaten, Black Op for his solid round of jumping (apart from the last – had he hit that spot on, it might have been even closer), the fast-improving Deyrann De Carjac for looking a huge threat two out only to flatten out late on, and back in fourth Mont Des Avaloirs, who was coming here off the back of a wind operation and near eight-month break. This looked very much a fact-finding mission as to whether the wind-op had worked, and although not fully put through his paces, the way he stayed on late without being knocked about was positive enough. He clearly needs a bit further than this but it’s to be remembered he was a close third in the Gerry Fielden over hurdles, so has class, and a mark of 137 simply looks there to be exploited. Surely a big handicap in him before the season is out. (Update – handicapper has given him another 5lb this morning, raising him to 142. Still mileage in that mark.)

Don't fancy a lot today but the Veterans Chase at Lingfield (3.15) is worth a second look, as both the front pair, Shanahans Turn, and particularly Uhlan Bute, find getting their head in front hard. I'd take a chance that Skipping On will come on plenty for his Newcastle run three weeks ago, his first since February, as he'll like the heavy ground, stays the trip well and is very lightly raced for his age. 9-1 in a couple of places looks a fair price for a small win bet.

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Good luck with all your bets today,

David.

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