Spoiler alert you aren’t about to find many surprise selections on here for this weekend. I do think I have three winners though.
My first punt for Saturday is on the Polytrack at Lingfield in the 7f Bombardier Golden Beer Conditions Stakes at 1.55. Documenting takes a slight step-down in class and the Kevin Frost trained six-year-old should get back to winning ways in this. He has a course and distance win to his name and the yard is banging out the winners lately from just outside the market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It’s a four-hour or so run down the M1 and I doubt they are coming just for a day out. He won’t be a big price but Apex King and Emily Goldfinch should give him a nice lead to follow until he can show his class and swoop late to grab the spoils. Get yourself the best price you can when the Bookies price up - Hills did go 11-8 Friday lunchtime.
I talked of the second race I am covering in the preview video earlier this week. All eyes will be on Ascot at 2.05 Saturday for the Grade Two Christy 1965 Chase over two miles five furlongs with one simple question on everyone’s lips, will Altior stay the trip? Never beaten over obstacles I suppose sooner or later they had to ask the question and step-up in trip rather than just mopping up the two-mile prizes time after time…….. I, of course, am a fully paid-up member of the fan club having backed him from early in his career including to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle, his first Grade One, back in 2016 when he left Min trailing in he's wake up the famous hill. Even his trainer Nicky Henderson has questioned whether he will stay saying earlier this week “If you'd seen Altior last Friday you'd say it can't be the right thing to be stepping him up in trip. If he's a stayer he's the most remarkable horse I've seen.” Track and trip expert, and winner of the Betfair Ascot Chase, Cyrname will keep him honest that’s for sure and if there is a chink in the armour he’ll find it. Cyrname's rider Harry Cobden told the Racing Post on Wednesday: "I schooled Cyrname the other day and he was in great form. I don't know if he's improved but he felt brilliant.” Nico De Boinville, rider of Altior, said: "He seems in really good form and everyone seems to be hyping it up but why not when you've got two nice horses like that. I thought at the back end of last year that what we're doing [stepping up] is the right decision. He's been working very well and showing a load of speed at home, so we'll see.” Personally, I really hope Altior will stay and I have taken a bit of the 4-6 about the nine-year-old stretching his unbeaten record to twenty races and have firmly crossed my fingers!
Another old favourite of mine Bristol De Mai goes for a third win in the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock due off at 3.00. He would be joining a pretty illustrious club of multiple winners if he achieves it with the legendary Kauto Star, who won four renewals, and Cue Card. Talking on Monday his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said “Everything has gone spot-on with his preparation and he is as forward as he always is for his seasonal debut and we are quietly confident that he will be up to the task. It’s quite a lot of pressure ahead of the race – if he were an underdog it would be much more pleasant – but he is only eight years old so he should not be going downhill just yet. There looks like being only half a dozen runners or so, which makes life a bit easier. He's been to Haydock four times and gone home a winner four times. Let’s hope he makes it five on Saturday.” I am hoping too as I snaffled a bit of the 6-4 that was about in the week.