Weekend Preview – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

My ban starts on Saturday, so I’m set for two weeks off and it will be frustrating to miss out on some nice runners this weekend. The horses are in good form ahead of Cheltenham and Doncaster, so we’re looking forward to it writes HARRY SKELTON..

I’ll be back on Saturday 10th February at Newbury where I’ll hopefully have some good rides to look forward to. We are planning to run PROTEKTORAT in the Denman Chase. He’s come out of the Lingfield race nicely.

L’EAU DU SUD will go for the Betfair Hurdle. He came back with stomach ulcers when running poorly in the Greatwood. We knew something wasn’t right, but he seems in really good form at home. He’s fresh and I do think he’s a good horse. He should run very well.

SATURDAY

CHELTENHAM

LE FAUVE


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– 12.05pm JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Finesse) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 2m 179y
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He ran a good race at Aintree last time out and seemed to have travelled well for a long way but just couldn’t quite see it out as the ground was very testing that day. He’s a nice horse who’s shown us plenty at home and we’ve entered him into quite a deep race as we don’t want him to lose his novice status too cheaply at this time of year. We’re hoping that this’ll be a good experience for him around Cheltenham which should stand him in good stead for races there further down the line.

UNEXPECTED PARTY (pictured below)


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– 12.40pm Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 4f 127y
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He’s been a bit lacklustre since his win in the autumn but, having said that, he is dropping down to a reasonable mark and seems well at home. We’re hoping he’ll start to turn a corner when the handicapper gives him a realistic chance.

FRERE D’ARMES


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– 1.15pm Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 2m 4f 127y
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He’s probably an out-and-out two-miler but we’re going run him in the 2m4½f handicap chase here as we think it’s definitely worth having a go at with lots of prize money on offer. We’re not entirely sure what went on last time at Musselburgh, he didn’t seem himself at all, but the time before at Ascot he saw the two miles out well. He’s a proper hold up ride and loves to come off a strong pace, which he is sure to get in this race. We’re putting cheekpieces on to hopefully help him focus towards the back end of the race. He’s got no weight on his back and we’ll be riding him to come home strongly, so if everything falls right he should be in with a squeak.

NUBE NEGRA


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– 2.25pm My Pension Expert Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 2m 62y
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We’re having a go at the rearranged Clarence House with Nube Negra (pictured below). He’s run well at the track before, but if it was up to us we’d prefer to have some nice ground for him. He ran a much better race last time at Kempton and saw out the trip really well, which was a much more positive effort. If he can repeat that, he should go well.

DONCASTER

CALICO – 11.50am SBK Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) 2m 78y
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He lines up in the 2m handicap chase and is a course and distance winner so that should favour him. However, I think the handicapper has him just a little too high – he won here off a mark of 136, but he’s now running off 142. He ran well at Cheltenham at the start of the year and he’s in good form, it’s just the battle against his mark which is the only worry at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see how he gets on.

SAIL AWAY – 3.15pm SBK Great Yorkshire Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 3m
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He finished eighth last time here over the same trip, when all the fences being omitted in the straight wouldn’t have been a help to him. He’ll be running here in an ultra-competitive handicap, but he’s looked good at home and, as a lover of decent ground, he should be capable of a good run.

SNIPE – 3.50pm SBK Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) 3m
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He’s been going in the right direction since his win at Aintree where he had a good gallop to aim at. He should get that again this time around which will suit him. Tristan [Durrell] will be looking to smuggle him into the race up the straight. Hopefully the handicapper hasn’t caught up with him yet as he’s an improving horse, and based off his run last time he should have a good chance.

UTTOXETER

GO STEADY – 2.33pm quinnbet.com Handicap Hurdle (Class 4) 2m 4f
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He’s our only runner at Uttoxeter this weekend. Sean O’Connor will be taking seven valuable pounds off which should be a help and means he’s well in on the basis of his run at the course back in the autumn. I think it’s a winnable race and he should hold every chance.

Good Luck
HARRY

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Author: Eugene Morris