Another frankly stellar ITV live racing spectacular on Saturday afternoon, Nov 11th.
Wincanton’s Badger Beer, a trip to Aintree with those formidable, fabled fences for the Grand Sefton, and some all-weather intrigue from Newcastle.
Something for everyone – with ten races to savour.
Here’s the menu;
13.15 2m 4f West Country Weekend Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase
13.50 2m 4f Boodles Rising Stars Novices’ Chase
14.25 3m 1f Badger Ales Beers Handicap Chase
15.00 2m West Country Weekend Elite Hurdle
15.32 2m 5f Richard Barber Memorial Handicap Hurdle
13.30 1m 2f Virgin Bet Gillies’ Stakes
14.05 6f Virgin Bet Wentworth Stakes
15.45 1m 4f Virgin Bet November Handicap
14.45 2m 5f Boylesports Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
15.20 2m 4f Boylesports Hurdle
13.15 Wincanton – Midnight Midge each-way @ 8/1
We’re paying 4 places each-way, so that’s where I’m heading. Midnight Midge is an experienced chaser who loves it around here, has won over course and distance off this mark, and conditional Elizabeth Gale takes off a valuable 8lb. A sporting, small stakes tickle to get us up and running.
13.30 Newcastle – Veil Of Shadows @ 11/4
If in doubt, Buick and Appleby .. well, not quite, but they are an arresting duo. A ten-furlong Listed fillies’ contest, and the race conditions favour this 3-yr-old daughter of the peerless Frankel.
Veil Of Shadows performed well previously on the Tapeta at Wolves, and brings bags of class to this fabulous heat.
13.50 Wincanton – Knappers Hill @ 8/13
A quality novices’ chase, and whilst no guarantee of success whatsoever it will be a surprise to me at least of decent proportions if Knappers Hill doesn’t oblige.
Master trainer P Nicholls/ace jock Harry Cobden combine on what could be a big day for the yard. Had a nice pipe-opener at Chepstow last month and should be raring to go. Could be a big season – was rated 153 over hurdles and has already matched that over fences.
14.05 Newcastle – Sense Of Duty @ 2/1
The race conditions favour this 4-yr-old daughter of Showcasing in this Listed affair. Cieran Fallon rides, William Haggas trains. Steps back into this company after keeping tabs on Group performers of late and should appreciate the ease. Sense Of Duty won the Chipchase here, at the trip, last year (Group 3). Terrific chance.
14.25 Wincanton – The Big Breakaway @ 6/1
The gallant and frankly wonderful Frodon bids to add another famous triumph to his glittering CV, under regular pilot Bryony Frost. I’m going for a Tizzard family conveyance though in the shape of The Big Breakaway, and as we’re paying 4 places each-way that could be the plan.
He’s kept some pretty good company in the staying chase game and couldn’t be in a better stable to be equipped for such tasks. 8 rising 9 – hopefully coming to his peak. Another sporting small stakes job, and fingers crossed that the old boy runs a blinder for Bryony, too.
14.45 Aintree – Cooper’s Cross each-way @ 15/2
A brilliant second in the Scottish National for Cooper’s Cross last term, and this is a very talented stayer for the Coltherds. Was going well in the Aintree version before his Ayr heroics but fell late in the piece. If straight for this, given he’s seen and jumped many of these unique fences, I’d say he’s got a fabulous e/w shout.
15.00 Wincanton – Hansard @ 6/4
The Elite Hurdle – and a trappy little contest that could boil down to a match between my selection Hansard and Rubaud, an impressive Kempton scorer, for Paul Nicholls.
Hansard ran a career-best when last seen at Aintree in the spring, in the Grade 1 Top Novice Hurdle. Went off at 40/1 that day and might just have surprised a few, including connections. Has a Greatwood entry and I’m fascinated to see what he can achieve this season.
15.20 Aintree – West Balboa @ Evens
Promising staying hurdler for the Skeltons. Field has cut up badly, but it’s no walkover. West Balboa still appeals as by far the most likely winner, he gets further, and at 7 rising 8 is nearing his peak. Another who ran a career-best at Aintree when last seen in the spring.
15.32 Wincanton – Ilovethenightlife @ 7/2
Another for the Tizzards, and ridden by Brendan Powell. His Dad Brendan Snr, he of sensational National-winning fame (Rhyme ‘n’ Reason) is retuning from Ireland I understand to team up with Henrietta Knight and train once again over here – the very best of luck to all concerned.
Ilovethenightlife took a good mares’ contest at Newbury last term, and if you’re picking up decent prizes at Newbury you’re quality – undisputed. Gives weight here but has earned it.
15.45 Newcastle – Local Dynasty @ 4/1
It’s Buick and Appleby time again – and once more the race conditions favour the 3-yr-old Local Dynasty. A Listed winner making his all-weather debut but has kept some pretty smart company, and if taking to the surface it’s another string to his bow.
Gelded now, so it’s all about what he can earn on the track. If his powerful stable select this challenge for him then, who am I to argue?
ITV Racing tips and Betfred Insights – a tip-top partnership