It’s a bit of a case of what horses aren’t running this weekend rather than those that are with a number of big names not showing up for races they were entered in. That said there is a couple well worth an investment and all being well a couple of quid to be won.
The Jumps season is underway well and truly now and the meeting this week at Cheltenham is always interesting with a number of big guns strutting their stuff. Sadly a couple of those I really wanted to see aren’t out but the Shloer Chase on Sunday will be worth a watch. First and second in the Champion Chase of 2017, Special Tiara and Fox Norton can be backed at 25-1 and 14-1 respectively for next year's race with the likes of Altior, Douvan and Min likely opposition. If either are to trouble the market principles come March a big performance is required on Sunday.
I really wanted to see Defi Du Seuil in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle also on the Sunday, a race Philip Hobbs often starts his Champion Hurdle hopefuls in but he wil not be seen till Ascot in a weeks time now connections believing “Ascot will be better than the hurly-burly of the Greatwood.”
Anyhow on to nicking a couple of quid and for the purposes of that I am on the all-weather at Lingfield this weekend; I am in fact on a couple of Charlies!
The Listed Betway Churchill Stakes due off at 2.45 is the main event on the Flat this weekend. The winner will get an automatic place in the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over course and distance on AWC Finals Day, Good Friday next year and some decent types line-up. The Sylvester Kirk trained Salouen was due to make his all-weather debut but he won’t be in Surrey. Chestnut colt Boynton trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin will be on show and the lightly raced three-year-old is faniced to get back to winning ways. Winner of the G.2 Superlative Stakes at two he was a little too keen last time at HQ and the softish conditions wouldn’t have helped when he couldn’t quite hold on in the Listed Jean Seymour. This faster surface will be in his favour, was second at Chelmsford on their Polytrack on seasonal debut. William Buick will be steering and at 5-2 he is the one for me.
At 3.15 they host the six furlong Betway Golden Rose Stakes. I was surprised to see the Charlie Hills Magical Memory lining-up for this and to my mind the five-year-old is a class above at his best. The 11 stall isn’t as bad as you may first think with likely pacesetter Gifted Master in 12 as I would expect the grey to sit just in behind all being well. He has plenty of form on faster going so he should take to the surface and at 9-2 the five-year-old is the pick in a tricky heat. Feared most is Spring Loaded who likes the Surrey air and is two from two over track and trip.