Another busy day of action on Saturday with seven races being aired on ITV from Kempton and Warwick. Frodon can give Top Notch a scare in the Silviniaco Conti Chase and Debestyman can come out on top in the ultra-competitive Lanzarote Hurdle. Looking at Warwick, the progressive Mossy Fen can land the Leamington Novices’ Hurdle and The Conditional is well fancied in the Classic Chase
Silviniaco Conti Chase
Three horses stand out in this contest with Top Notch likely to start as an odds on favourite. He was a Grade 1 winner as a novice over fences and has toughed it out to win on both starts this season. He defeated Kauto Riko by less than a length in the Peterborough Chase with that rival likely to improve from the run. However, I don’t see him turning the tables.
Frodon had a near-perfect season year topped off by winning the Ryanair at the Cheltenham festival. He’s been well beaten in two starts this year but it looks like a weakish Grade 2 and he’s got a live chance.
The very lightly-raced Notre Pari powered away for an easy success on handicap debut at Aintree and there is definitely a lot more to come from this improving six-year-old.
The talented Burrows Edge may not have won a race in nearly two years and fell on his recent chase debut. He has the ability to get involved but his current mark may leave him vulnerable to an improver.
Debestyman has run well all season and I think the two-pound drop for his Cheltenham fifth is generous. The drop down in trip should suit him and he’s my idea of the winner.
Selection: Debestyman – E/W
Uniboosts Handicap Chase
The highly thought of On The Blind Side has yet to replicate the form he showed over hurdles in six starts over the larger obstacles. That being said he’s run some big races in good handicaps and if this race doesn’t come too soon he’s the one to beat.
Walt travelled well only to fade late on in the Ladbrokes Trophy and with the one-pound drop coupled with the shorter distances he could run into the places.
Touch Kick jumped and travelled supremely well when winning on seasonal debut at Fakenham. He couldn’t back that run-up in the Grand Sefton but can’t be discounted back up in trip.
Selection: Walt – E/W
Hampton Novices’ Chase
Roll Again was a decent sort for Willie Mullins over hurdles and has done well for new connections over the larger obstacles winning on his second start and he was going well when coming to grief at Kempton. There is ore to come from him and he must be considered.
The Skelton team seem to always be in good form and their Ardlethen holds strong claims here. He’s shown a high level of form over fences including when not beaten far in a Grade 2 on his most recent start. That’s arguably the best form on offer and should go close.
Two For Gold comes in here trying to maintain his unbeaten record over fences. Kim Bailey’s charge was fourth in a Grade 2 over hurdles and is another who must be taken seriously.
Leamington Novices’ Hurdle
Irish-raider Decor Irlandais could be the one here following having won three of his five starts over hurdles including a sug victory at Catterick in December. The experienced gelding is also a four-time winner in the point-to-point sphere and should be in the mix.
Shan Blue has yet to finish out of the places when staying upright and couldn’t have done it any easier at Southwell. This represents a big step up in class but he’s a nice type.
Nigel Twiston-Davies horses have been firing on all cylinders of late and Mossy Fen must go close here. He lost his unbeaten record in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham where he was slightly unlucky in running and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Selection: Mossy Fen
There are two previous winners in the field in the shape of Milansbar and Impulsive Star. Both horses come in here in bad form and it’s hard to envisage a repeat victory for either of them. However, the addition of first-time blinkers could spark improvement from Impulsive Star and he’s only four-pounds higher than last years win.
Looking at the top of the market it’s not surprising to see The Conditional to the fore given his fine run in the Ladbrokes Trophy where he only found De Rasher Counter too good. A five-pound rise seems fair and he should go well again.
Kimberlite Candy excels over staying trips and ran another big race in defeat in the Beecher at Aintree in December. He doesn’t win that often but is weighted to run well again.
Selection: The Conditional
Pertemps Qualifier Handicap Hurdle
Tedham seldom runs a bad race and wasn’t beaten far behind the re-opposing Stoney Mountain at Haydock. He’s now weighted to beat that rival and could gain a well-deserved victory.
One For The Team is still awaiting his first win over hurdles following four runs but he just missed out behind the classy Champers On Ice in a competitive handicap and with only two-pounds more to carry he may gain an overdue success.
Of the bigger priced runners, I think White Moon shouldn’t be underestimated given he’s won two of his three starts over hurdles. This is his first run back hurdling in over two years and should go well.