The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Umbrigado, (1350 Haydock), 2pts win, 13/2:
We napped Kid Commando when he made all at Ascot recently and he is tempting here, although the 7lb rise is enough and top weight will be a challenge. We really like Umbrigado for the Pipe team. He was highly tried as a novice and his three runs last season were confined to top handicaps. He was a non- staying 5th in the big 3m hurdle on this card last year, then middle of the pack in Ascot’s Betfair hurdle and Cheltenham’s Martin Pipe hurdle. They were all respectable efforts in top races. This trip, on this ground, and the slight drop in class look ideal, and so many of these types do well on their second season handicapping, and a few pounds down in the ratings plus the golden 7lb claim of his jockey makes his weight look very generous.
Young Bull, (1255 Ascot), 7/2: the handicap win at Uttoxeter by Demachine has quickly become golden form with the 2nd, 11th and 15th winning since, and the 4th, 5th and 14th home falling with races at their mercy. Demachine is a worthy favourite here, but is up 10lbs for the win and his rider has lost his 3lb claim since meaning an effective 13lb rise. The Uttoxeter third Young Bull has just under 8l to find but is 12lbs better off. He is held in high regard by his stable as a potentially huge improver over fences, and aspirations to climb through the handicap ranks can start here.
Imperial Aura, (1405 Ascot), 7/4: only 4 runners but hugely informative. We are big fans of festival hero Imperial Aura and fancy him to rise to Ryanair glory by March. After an impressive Carlisle return, this is a proper test of his mettle. He comes into this the worst at the weights, has a solid yardstick in Black Corton to beat, and a quality horse in non-staying Gold Cup 6th Real Steel, not to mention March’s Marsh favourite Itchy Feet. It may not be a disaster to lose out in such company, but with the benefit of a run, if he is to be Ryanair class, then he needs to pretty much win this, and we think he will.
Imperial Alcazar, (1425 Haydock), 13/2: Irish raiders again showed how dangerous they can be in these handicaps in the Greatwood last week and have two big bullets to fire here with the in form The Jam Man and the mercurial Relegate. That said, we think both could be beaten by the unexposed novice Imperial Alcazar. He kept pretty good company last year, with his narrow defeat to Protektorat at Cheltenham looking pretty good in hindsight. The O’Brien-Brennan combo are in typically good early season form and it looks significant that they have preserved this fella’s rating in advance of this valuable prize.
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