Dettori Heads For Lingfield
It’s day 3 of the Punchestown Festival, but before we look ahead to the big jumps races let’s take a quick gander at the UK action. There are 4 meetings scheduled for today. The venues are Lingfield, Redcar, Sedgefield and Chelmsford.
Frankie Dettori partners Richard Hannon’s Shaiyem, in the 3.20 at Lingfield. The lightly raced 3-year-old won on debut at Ffos Las and should go close, today.
Franny Norton will be on-board Mark Johnston’s Galesburg, in the 4.10 at Redcar. The Sharmadal gelding won at Beverley, last time out, beating Zahrat Narjis by a couple of lengths.
Roxyfet, Discoverie and Discay should make for a terrific tussle, in the 6.50 at Sedgefield. Roxyfet looks the one to beat, having finished 1st or 2nd in his last 6 races.
The 7.30 at Chelmsford looks a great opportunity for Dannyday to get back to winning ways. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride Sir Michael Stoute’s runner, who looks to have the edge over both Haines and Daisy Boy.
More Top Jumping Talent On Display At Punchestown
We’ve been so well treated, in the first 2 days of the Punchestown Festival, that having just a pair of G1 races to look forward to today seems a bit skinny! However, there are other important events on today’s card.
The Handicap Chase (4.15) is packed full of talent, including Henry de Bromhead’s Sizing Codelco. He’s unseated the pilot, on 2 of his last 3 outings, but deserves another chance. The Flemensfirth gelding found only Shaneshill too good, at Naas in January. With the field strung-out across Kildare (including Kitten Rock and Shantou Ed), Sizing Codelco was the only other horse to emerge with credit and he should go well this afternoon.
Obeaux The Group 1 Bridesmaid, Once Again?
The G1 Champion Stayers Hurdle was won by Jezki, in 2015. Alpha Des Obeaux has some big shoes to fill, if he is going to triumph today and there can be no doubt that he is a class act. Beaten only by Thistlecrack, in the World Hurdle, the French gelding recorded his 4th consecutive runner-up spot in G1 contests. The 6-year-old now needs to prove he has the will to win, in elite company. Gordon Elliott’s Diamond King looks the biggest threat.
Handicapper Hasn’t Spared The Rod, On At Fishers Cross
At Fishers Cross will be amongst the starters, in the Murray Spelman Handicap Hurdle (6.05). He hasn’t tasted victory for 3 years now and no longer looks fairly treated in the weights. It’s a sad state of affairs, for the 2013 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and Sefton Novices’ Hurdle Champion. Jury Duty, Rathpatrick and Just Cause are all preferred.
Douvan Set To Dominate
Let’s hope that today’s renewal of the G1 Novice Chase is more than just a procession, although that looks the most likely outcome. Douvan appears to be utterly untouchable, although he did seem to start a little gingerly at Aintree last time out.
It’s how you finish a race that matters most, of course, so it’s worth remembering that The Game Changer was beaten by 14 lengths in the G1 Maghull Novices’ Chase. Gordon Elliott’s charge looks in line for more punishment today, along with Sizing John, Ttebbob and Baltimore Rock.
Group 3 Action In France
Fans of French racing will be eagerly anticipating today’s meeting at Chantilly, where the G3 Prix Allez France tops the bill. Andre Fabre has 3 runners, but all look held in this company. We Are is likely to start as favourite, with the main challenge probably coming from Mary Pop. Francis-Henri Graffard’s Beautiful Heroine also has good form and will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
There are 9 South Africa races at Vaal, where the promising 3-year-old Hollie Point goes in race 8. Good luck with your bets, today!