Ray Flanagan previews Saturday’s racing
Thought for the day: My favourite Tingle Creek Chase has to be the 2004 version. Coming into the race Azertyuiop was the reigning champion chaser, while Well Chief was the bright young prospect. Moscow Flyer, having fallen at Cheltenham and rising 11 years of age appeared to be coming to the end of his days as the best two miler. Yet on the day Moscow produced one of the all time great two mile chase performances to show that he was still the King.
Workbench (4-1) and Elishpour (5-2) were winners yesterday. An entertaining days racing in store and a few selections for a sporting interest.
Aintree- 1.30 Blacklion and Rogue Angel
Plenty of debate about Blacklion’s price, yet granted a clear round he really ought to win. He ran a stormer until stamina ebbed away in the Grand National last April and produced a fine seasonal return against Bristol De Mai at Wetherby.
Rogue Angel is a tricky customer to predict,but he has done it when least expected before in the Kerry and Irish Nationals. Ran an excellent race for a long way in the Grand National last April and return to this circuit may relight the fire following a few dismal recent efforts.
I recall Aengue from his days with Noel Meade where he was just touched of by Total Recall in a Naas handicap. Won two on the bounce last spring for his new stable and not disgraced at Uttoxeter subsequently. Stamina I remember was his forte in Ireland and could relish this test today.
I have always felt the rogueish Buywise would make a really good staying chaser in time. Has been blighted though by jumping errors although has still managed some noticeable placed efforts particularly around Cheltenham. Big price today if re-capturing best form and my hunch is that he should be more comfortable travelling around though the race today against similar stayers than trying to live with the opposition in hotly run contests against 2m 4f horses.
Sandown 1.10- Beat That
Very useful novice hurdler a few seasons back. Endured long absence and has not convinced over fences since returning. Could be interesting though back over hurdles today with David Mullins a noteworthy booking.
Sandown 2.20- Exitas
A tricky race. It is hard to be certain that Exitas will appreciate reverting to hurdles having been chasing for a few seasons but nothing else really convinces in the race. He is worth chancing on the basis that he is on a good mark based on his old hurdling form and that he has bounced back to form over fences this term and comes into the race at the top of his game.
Sandown 3.30 Doing Fine
Doing Fine may have further potential as a staying chaser and there was plenty to like about his Cheltenham return behind Cogry. It has taken him a while to get his act together but he has been improving since last spring where he won at Cheltenham in April and ran ok in the bet 365 gold cup.
Did not get into a fluent rhythm in the latter event and slightly softer conditions today should help by slowing the others down. Can take a bit of riding but no doubt there is an engine there and presence of Barry John Geraghty in the saddle could be worth another length or two.
0.5 pts win-Beat That-1.10 Sandown-12-1 General
2 pts win-Blacklion-1.30 Aintree-11-4 bet 365
0.5 pts ew-Rogue Angel-1.30 Aintree- W/O Blacklion-16-1 bet 365
0.75 pts ew-Aengus 2.10 Chepstow-8-1 General
1 pt win-Exitas-2.20 Sandown-9-1 General
0.75 pts ew-Buywise-2.45 Chepstow-12-1 General
2.5 pts win-Doing Fine-3.30 Sandown-9-2 Ladbrokes