The Pharoah of Galway offers his suggestions for today’s TV racing.
I’m going to offer up a longshot for this one. NORDANO was thrown in at the weights for this race last year and trotted up by sixteen lengths despite Aidan Colman dropping his whip whilst approaching the last fence. His OR is now 11 higher than it was that day and his form since has been poor. However, those last two runs require closer inspection. Both were over left-handed tracks over which he has only won one from six. Going right-handed his record is first-second-first with RPRs of 100, 125 and 133. Furthermore, the only horse ever to beat him going right-handed was a certain Goshen! Ok, he did finish eleven lengths behind Moore’s stable star, but he was carrying the same weight and was seven lengths clear of the third. Nordano’s last run was a fortnight ago and he finished a 64l 11th of 12th but that was a 3m race and he has never been tried beyond 2m3f before. A cynic might say that was just a warm-up run to get him ready for today. It may well be that the weights will stop him, but I think, at 40-1, he is too long a price.
When the going gets heavy at Haydock it can bottomless. In these conditions I want to be on a horse that will definitely see the race out. CHEF D’OEUVRE has won a number of times on the heavy ground and is good value. CLYNE is also suited to the conditions and has a strong record at Haydock.
CHEF D’OEUVRE e/w. CLYNE e/w. Chef D’oeuvre & Clyne reverse forecast.
When it comes to National Hunt at Ascot, I am a big fan of backing horse with proven course form. That thinking made the 28-1 available this morning about FLINTHAM too difficult to resist. It comes with risks as he has been off for a long time and I’m also going to chuck in another one at generous odds who likes the course. TOWNSHEND is on a slightly lower mark than when he won over C&D a year ago and a return to form would make him a leading contender.
FLINTHAM e/w – TOWNSHEND e/w
SAMS ADVENTURE looked impressive when winning the Tommy Whittle over C&D LTO and I don’t think that the 6lb rise will be enough to stop in. With Tizzard’s runners slowly coming back to form, LAMANVER PIPPIN can provide a good e/w hedge.
SAMS ADVENTURE win – LAMANVER PIPPIN e/w
To me this race is all about whether DEFI DU SEUIL is back to his best. I was Ascot for the Clarence House last year and have a clear memory of the way Defi sprinted away after landing over each of the last fences leaving Un De Sceaux trailing in his wake. If he runs like that today he wins this. Mr Hobbs says all is well and who am I to argue?
DEFI DU SEUIL Win