Preview of racing at Haydock, Gowran Park and the Coral Hurdle at Ascot

By Luke

Saturday looks to be one of the best race days of the year so far. Great action comes from Ascot with the highly anticipated clash between Altior and Cyrname at 2:05. Read Samantha’s in depth  preview of the race here Altior Vs Cyrname.

The race that follows the big clash at Ascot is the Coral Hurlde off at 2:40. I like the Dan Skelton trained mare Roksana. Unlike her two market rivals Call Me Lord and If The Cap Fits, she has the benefit of a recent run. She was last seen finishing second to Top Notch at Aintree. She made a mistake at the last which I think cost her the race. On her final start of last season she finished a head second behind If The Cap Fits at Aintree. I think with the benefit of the run she can prove hard to beat with Harry Skelton on board.


The feature race of the day is the Grade One Betfair Chase off at 3:00. Bristol De Mai, described by most as a Haydock specialist looks for his third win of the race after taking the Honour in this race for the past two years. His most memorable win came in this race two years ago when he won the race by fifty seven lengths on very testing ground. He has ran twenty eight times between hurdles and fence picking up ten win. Four of those have been at Haydock where he has never been beaten. A horse with that impressive record at the track has to be respected.

I like the second season novice Lostintranslation for Colin Tizzard. He has the benefit of a recent run. He was last seen earlier this month winning at Carlisle. He produced a great round of jumping and won with ease over two miles and four furlongs. His best performance to date came over the three miles and one furlong at Aintree at the backend of last season. He was very impressive when winning, beating the RSA winner Topofthegame by six lengths . I think from last seasons Novice chasers Lostintranslation and Defi Du Seuil are the best of them. I think he will go very close with Robbie Power in the saddle.

Frodon and Ballyoptic make up the field of four. Frodon will always be rembered for his win in the Ryanair last year with Bryony Frost in the saddle. He was well beaten on his comeback run at Aintree and I think he will struggle to get home in this competitive a race. Ballyoptic has had two runs this season and won them both. Last time out he won the Grade two Charlie Hall. He is a horse who stays well and will love the conditions but may struggle to challenge the top two in the market.

  1. Lostintranslation
  2. Bristol De Mai
  3. Ballyoptic
  4. Frodon

Lois- Bristol De Mai

Killian- Bristol De Mai

Samantha- Bristol De Mai

The race prior to the big one at Haydock is a handicap hurdle over three miles. Lisnagar Oscar has been disappointing over fences this season and reverts to hurdles. The Rebecca Curtis trained six year old was an impressive winner in a Grade two over course and distance in February. I think his mark of 141 is fair and he can go close with Brian Hughes in the saddle.

If Gowran gets the the go ahead tomorrow after an inspection in the morning the exciting Laurina and Minella Indo will make their chase debuts. For the remainder of the season it is likely that Minella Indo will go up in trip and Laurina will stick to the two and half miles with the possibility to drop back to two miles. It will be a real stamina test on very testing ground and for that reason I am siding with Minella Indo, who I think will be the RSA winner come March. He was a very good hurdler and Henry De Bromhead does a great job improving these hurdles to be better chasers. I think we were always going to see the best of him over fences rather than hurdles. He is a horse who can take awhile to get fit  but hopefully he is fit enough to get the job done here with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle.

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