Latest chapter in the intriguing battle for the Jump Jockey’s Championship takes place today, with Our Brian on duty at Carlisle, while Harry faces the cameras at Haydock.
Just the three races at the Lancashire track starting with the Betway Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle at 2.05 and we think the Skelton team have every chance of taking this with Vision Du Puy.
This lightly raced 6-y-o won at Stratford last time out despite not looking at ease on that tight track, quickening well on the run in to win going away. 5lbs higher today, but plenty more to come and the 3-1 on offer should be taken.
At 2.40 the Betway Challenger Staying Chase Series Final Handicap Chase has Defuture Is Bright installed as favourite after a somewhat unlikely looking win at Fakenham last month. Only two pounds higher today seems reasonable, but for much of that race the horse was going nowhere and we prefer the chances of Silva Eclipse from the back in form Sue Smith yard.
Just two runs over fences but an impressive winner at Sedgefield 4 weeks ago, this grey makes fair appeal each way at 13-2.
Final televised race is the Stayers Hurdle version of the series at 3.15, with a field of 17, headed by another Sue Smith inmate, Small Present, at 9-2.
This dual winner may find this race a bit much and we go ‘dutch’ with each way recommendations on Colonial Dreams at 8-1 and Iwilldoit at 15-2.
Both ran and ran well at Newbury last time out, finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively and both are potential improvers from in-form stables.
Lovers of the Flat are catered for by coverage from Musselburgh, starting with the Betway Musselburgh Silver Arrow Handicap at 1.50.
If Archie Watson‘s runner Stone Soldier can translate its AW improvement to turf it could well hose up, as it runs off a 9lb lower mark this afternoon following a 5 length romp at Southwell. Not a great draw today, but we’ll leave that to The Sniper to sort out and suggest a win bet at 4-1.
Just 7 runners for the Betway Royal Mile Handicap at 2.25 and an exceptionally well handicapped runner in the shape of Colonel Faulkner, another from Archie.
Just 3 runs as a 2-y-o, a third and a second being followed by a win at Deauville in December. The form of its debut run suggests a handicap mark somewhere in the 90s, so, off just 83, we suggest a fair whack at 5-2.
Lurking near the foot of the weights is another very well handicapped horse named Ventura Mutiny, one of two runners from Richard Fahey. We are not privy as to why this Showcasing colt has not been seen since winning on this course last June, but, in case it’s fully primed to go, we recommend a modest each way at 12-1.
The 3.00 is a fierce looking 5f sprint which, frankly, we can do without so it’s swiftly on to the Betway Queen’s Cup at 3.35.
Favourite for this race is Nate The Great, also favourite in the ‘Worst Named Horse’ competition, but clearly weighted to beat this one is Stargazer from Philip Kirby‘s yard.
Admittedly, that was on the AW, but Stargazer won off 90 at Haydock last season and competes off 91 today and will be fully fit after a third off 96 at Newcastle last month. At odds of 12-1, well worth an e/w tickle.
Let battle commence.
Vision Du Puy 2.05 Haydock 2pts win @ 3-1
Silva Eclipse 2.40 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (4 places)
Colonial Dreams 3.15 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Iwilldoit 3.15 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (5 places Betfair/Paddy)
Stone Soldier 1.50 Musselburgh 2pts win @ 4-1 (Hills, Bet365)
Colonel Faulkner 2.25 Musselburgh 4pts win @ 5-2
Ventura Mutiny 2.25 Musselburgh 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (2 places)
Stargazer 3.35 Musselburgh 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)