Saturday Preview – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

I’m at Aintree for six rides on a busy Saturday for the yard, with several runners at Sandown (and fingers crossed for their inspection), including two in Grade 1 company with Unexpected Party and Nube Negra, while Shan Blue goes to Chepstow for the Welsh Grand National Trial writes HARRY SKELTON.

SATURDAY

Aintree

GOONHILLY


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– 11:10am Boylesports Money Back 2nd Meeting Novices’ Hurdle (Novices’ Championship Hurdle Qualifier) (GBB) (Class 3) 2m 1f
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He was in the process of running a good race at Ludlow last time when coming down at the last and probably would have finished third without that mishap. We won’t ride him from the front again like we did there as he was looking around a bit for a lead during the race. We’ll bide our time with him here and hopefully he finishes his race this time. We’ll see how we get on, but first and foremost we’re hoping for a clear round after last time.

PEMBROKE


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– 11:45am Boylesports Best Odds Guaranteed On Racing Beginners’ Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 4f
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Finishing second at Uttoxeter was a positive start to the season but he just didn’t back that up the next time, before being handed a walkover at Warwick. He faces three rivals, and we probably have Paul Nicholls’ Golden Son to beat, but the small field should suit him. Hopefully he can get into a good rhythm and his jumping holds up, and if that’s the case then he’s capable of going very well. I do think he’s in good form at home, and I just hope he transfers his homework onto the track.

HELTENHAM (pictured with me below)


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– 1:30pm Boylesports Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 4f
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He was a progressive horse last year. We gave him a run in a novice hurdle a couple of weeks ago as we were very keen to get a run into him, and he won nicely. He’ll love the track and the ground at Aintree. I think he’s got plenty of progression still to come and I’m hopeful the handicapper hasn’t quite got a hold of him yet. He should be very competitive.

ASHTOWN LAD


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– 2:05pm Boylesports Becher Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 3m 2f
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We’re trying to win the Becher for a second year in a row with Ashtown Lad (pictured below). He’s had a run at Wincanton, where he went well before getting a bit tired at the finish, but this has been our main target with him. He wouldn’t want the ground to be heavy to be seen at his best, but we’re hopeful the big Aintree fences bring him to life.

LE FAUVE


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– 2:40pm Boylesports Daily Money Back 2nd Juvenile Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 2m 1f
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He’s new to us after finishing second on his only run in France. He seems a strong horse that travels nicely, so he should have no problems with the ground. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him at home and it looks like he has plenty of ability, so we’re hopeful of a good run.

Sandown (inspection 7.30am)

UNEXPECTED PARTY


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– 1:50pm Betfair Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 1m 7 1/2f
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He goes in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase with Ciaran Gethings taking the ride. He’s got plenty of experience over fences and hopefully he can put that to good use. To be at his best, I don’t think he would want the ground too heavy, but he should have a competitive chance in an open Grade 1.

PUNTA DEL ESTE


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– 2:25pm Rachael Blackmore Serial Winners Fund Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m
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I think he has a nice chance as he’ll enjoy the stiff test over two miles at Sandown and will handle the ground. He ran nicely first time up at Wetherby and if he’s come on a bit for that, then he should go very close.

NUBE NEGRA (pictured below)


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– 3:00pm Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 1m 7 1/2f
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He lines up in the Tingle Creek with Jonjo O’Neill Jr aboard. He’s been running well in Graded races, but I think it’s evident that all of his best form is on better ground, so conditions may be against him.

Chepstow

SHAN BLUE


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– 1:37pm Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 7 1/2f
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We’re going back over fences with Shan Blue in the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow. He’s obviously had his problems in the past and we’re trying to get him back on track. He ran well for a long way on his reappearance at Cheltenham before getting tired. He seems to have come out of that race in good form and hopefully he can take another step back in the right direction. However, I do think that things might come together for him a little bit further down the line.

Good Luck
HARRY

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Author: Eugene Morris