It’s a fairly sedate Sunday for racing fans this week with just two meetings in Britain, as they go over jumps at Uttoxeter and Kelso.
We have picked out three selections from across the cards, including a promising hurdling newcomer for Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell.
14:30 Kelso – Esprit Du Potier @ 10/11
Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell won’t unleash Aintree hero Corach Rambler for another while yet, but she does send out another horse that did well at Aintree in ESPRIT DU POTIER for this Simpsons Malt Novices’ Hurdle that is the second race on Kelso’s Family Day card.
After settling for second on his debut last season, the French-bred gelding won back-to-back bumpers at Ayr in January and February in good style.
He then went to Merseyside in April and, despite odds of 33/1, ran a fine race when close up in sixth in a Grade 2 bumper at the Grand National Festival.
He looks an exciting recruit to this sphere and Derek Fox’s partner can make a winning start over hurdlers for the Scottish handler.
15:30 Kelso – Tommy’s Oscar @ 13/8
Despite the burden of top-weight in the NSPCC School Service Simply Ned Handicap Chase but TOMMY’S OSCAR may well be the class act in the field and can pull it off on his seasonal bow for Ann Hamilton.
He has an excellent record when fresh, including breaking his duck over fences at Carlisle last season after 212 days out.
He also showed some smart form thereafter as a novice over fences. He was second behind Jospeh O’Brien’s Banbridge in a Grade 2 novice at Cheltenham in November and would occupy the same berth at Newcastle in January and Carlisle in March either side of winning the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster.
That’s the smartest form on offer and while Malystic for Peter Niven and Brian Hughes is a solid rival and five-time chase winner in his own right, Tommy’s Oscar still has scope for better in this sphere and is expected to justify inclusion on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder.
16:45 Uttoxeter – Ali Star Bert @ 11/2
The Shaun Harris-trained ALI STAR BERT is fancied for a big effort on return from his summer recess in the penultimate race on the Uttoxeter card, the Staffordshire Beer Festival Saturday 18th November Handicap Chase – a Betfred Super Extra Place Race (four places).
All Star Bert only finished out of the frame just once in six chase starts last season and that came when he was pulled up on very testing ground here in December.
He scored over C&D in February on good-to-soft ground and doubled his tally a fortnight later at Chepstow (3m2f, good).
He showed some consistency afterwards, with figures of 232, before being pulled up here over hurdles in June when the busy spell may have found him out.
The seven-year-old has won off this sort of layoff before and he’s still on a very workable mark back chasing. He can take out this prize in the hands of Jack Quinlan.