ITV brings us five interesting races on Friday with Donald McCain looking to land the feature Racebets Handicap Hurdle at Bangor with Same Circus. Of the four races at Cheltenham Zara Hope can land a quickfire double, Onefortheroadtom may gain compensation after a last fence mistake stopped him last time and Yanworth looks the class act in the Cross Country race.
Racebets Handicap Hurdle
The Racebets sponsored handicap hurdle is the feature race at Bangor on Friday and the Racebets sponsored tard of Donald McCain have a strong chance of winning this with Same Circus. He was a big raced winner on seasonal debut at Aintree back in October and should it was no fluke with a good run at Ascot off five-pounds higher. Brian Hughes takes over the reins and he must go close.
Justatenner tops the market following a win at Ayr but I just think the four-pound hike might be enough to stop him.
Bryden Boy made a mockery of the opposition at Sedgefield where he romped home by 41 lengths. Five-pounds seems fair for that victory and he comes here in great fettle.
Selection: Same Circus
CF Roberts Handicap Chase
Zara Hope has been through her fair share of stables through the years and drew clear to win well at Market Rasen. The seven-pound penalty she runs other brings her into the reckoning and she could improve further.
Richard Hawker’s Parlour Maid has won three of her six starts over fences and was an easy winner most recently. The four-pound rise might not be enough to stop her from winning again.
Definitelyanoscar won on seasonal debut only to be disqualified and has finished runner-up on her last two starts. She’s feasibly treated and should once again go close.
Selection: Zara Hope
Cheltenham Handicap Chase
Neil Mulholland runs Impulsive Star who’ll be ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen. He’s best in the early part of the season as evidenced by his victory in the Classic Chase last season. He’s just two-pounds higher than that victory and should go close.
Beau Du Brizais has run well on all three starts in the current campaign and looks fairly treated, so victory is surely around the corner.
The JP McManus owned Onefortheroadtom was staying on well at Cheltenham last month when making a mistake at the last. That run can be marked up and off two-pounds lower, he’s my idea of the winner.
Cross Country Chase
Yanworth is the class actin here for the “King of the banks” Enda Bolger. The ex-Alan King trained runner was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles and started off life well for Bolger with a good performance over the bank course at Punchestown. this discipline could rejuvenate him and even though he’s got plenty of weight, he’s the one to beat.
Another hailing from the Bolger academy is course regular Josies Orders, who finished third in this race last season behind Fact Of The Matter. He runs off the same mark twelve months on and I find it hard to see him beating that rival.
The aforementioned Fact Of The Matter loves ita round here and as mentioned took this race twelve months ago. He travelled well here in November before finding the soft going too much up the straight. He will be more at home on the ground now and has a big chance of back to back victories.
There was a well-supported French winner of the cross country race in November and the French-raiding party is spearheaded by Easysland here who won a listed cross country race snugly last time out and must be considered.
Chic Name must also enter calculations having finished third over these fences in November but may need to improve to win this.
Selection: Fact Of The Matter – E/W
Citipost Handicap Hurdle
The Skelton team have been in great form all season and No Getaway was an impressive winner at Hereford last time out. He’s on an upward curve and will take all the beating.
The lightly-raced Ask Ben was second in a Grade 2 last season and was thought highly-enough to run in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham. He ran well for a long way on seasonal debut and should improve for the run.
Grade 1 winning novice hurdler Kilbricken Storm saw his season fall apart last season but the handicapper has now given him a chance. If Colin Tizzard can work his magic then he could win this easily.
Goodbye Dancer is an interesting runner here on his first start since joining Fergal O’Brien. He’s gone the best part of three years without a win but off nine-pounds lower, he could break his duck.
Selection: Ask Ben