Our racing ambassador previews Saturday's big race plus takes us through his rides this weekend
I’m off to Ascot for the one ride on Saturday on a horse I’ve got good recent memories of. I’ve won three times on board Paul Henderson’s Amron Kali this year as she’s preogressed through the handicap ranks. Obviously winning races means the handicapper will have his say and she’s gone up the weights as a result. She has been a bit disappointing on her last couple of starts after a break but Paul’s horses have been in better form of late and it looks likely she should have her conditions on Saturday so hopefully she can find some of the form she showed over the summer.
Sunday is a busy day for me with four rides down at Exeter. First up it’s We’ll Be There for Stuart Kittow. He improved with each run last season before just being touched off by a neck on his last start at Chepstow. If he can show that level first time out on Sunday then on paper it looks a winnable race but there’s no doubting he will improve for the run after 258 days off the track.
I ride a nice horse for Polly Gundry called Swincombe Scorchio in the handicap chase, who I rode to finish within a length of the very smart Rock The Kasbah at Chepstow back in February. He followed that effort with a win at the same track and ran well enough at Cheltenham after that. He was disappointing last time out at Exeter in a race I rode the winner but if you forgive him that run he has the form in the book. He should run in some good staying handicaps this season and I expect him to improve with his racing as the season progresses.
Next up it’s Native Robin for Jeremy Scott in the Handicap Chase over 2m1f. He was much too free on his last start 16 days ago at Warwick after a long absence. You can put a line through that race as he’s much better than he showed that day. He does ideally want further but the 2 miles around Exeter does take some getting so I’m hopeful that will play into his favour and if he can bounce back to the form he showed when winning at Doncaster and Wincanton last season I’m hopeful of a strong run.
Finally for me this weekend I ride Hold Me Tight in the Juvenile Hurdle again for Poly Gundry. He ran well enough at Fontwell on his first start over hurdles and he is a sound enough jumper. The ground conditions are a concern but it’s not the strongest of races so you never know.
Obviously the big race of the weekend is the Betfair Chase at Haydock and everyone seems to think it will be a two-horse race between Cue Card and Bristol De Mai. Certainly Colin Tizzard’s 11-year-old has the best form on offer and has won the race three times in the past so you could argue it is his to lose. Bristol De Mai ran very well in the Charlie Hall and his win at the course last season was obviously impressive too.
For me I think Tea For Two could outrun his odds at a decent price. He has good form in small fields so the six runners on Saturday should suit. It wil also be interesting to see which Outlander turns up for Gordon Elliott. If the Grade 1 winning version shows up on Saturday then he has to have a chance as well.
That’s it from me this week, enjoy your racing and I’ll be back with more next week.