The Saturday Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Green Book, (1440 Kempton), 2pts win, 11/2:
Has made a good transition from a lifetime best flat season to a similarly successful hurdling campaign. The stable is in flying form and yet this fella still looks well in at the foot of the weights here. This is a course that tends to suit flat race types and trainer Williams applies the coup de grace with the booking of useful 10lb claimer Ned Fox, always a massive asset in handicap hurdles.
Eldorado Allen, (1405 Kempton), 3/1: probably the least talented of these four runners and carrying joint top weight, the key though is current form. Best-in Defi Du Seuil looks to have lost his way, whilst Rouge Vif goes beyond 2m for the first time in 11 chase runs. Mister Fisher is the worthy favourite but has to be better than a weak King George reappearance. So whilst Eldorado Allen may not be the best of these, he at least comes here in peak form after a good Exeter win and a decent 3rd in the Peterborough Chase. Being best on the day may just be the key attribute.
Gericault Roque, (1500 Warwick), 7/2: this is a tough ask under topweight for Corach Rambler, and amidst the exposed old horses it’s two other lightly raced types in Gericault Roque and French import Grace A Vous Enki who make most appeal. French Grace could have plenty in hand but Gericault has the more proven recent form and looks sure to go close.
Alaphilippe, (1535 Warwick), 5/2: A race within a race, these qualifiers for the Cheltenham Festival final are full of subtext as some horses have to win to improve their ratings whilst others try to hide their lights from the handicapper, whilst all needing a top 6 finish to be eligible. Owner JP McManus has pulled off a masterstroke here. His Sporting John is a high quality contender for the final but is already high enough and best fresh, so needs somehow to qualify with the minimum of effort – step forward two time final winner Sire Du Berlais for the same owner whose massive rating of 158 raises the bar in this race and has led to a measly field of 7, basically meaning everyone is in the final bar the last placed. Great placing by JP but neither horse will want the weight rise that comes from winning. Bottom weight but classy Riggs does need a ratings boost and will be gunning for the win but formerly useful novice Alaphilippe looks the call having looked a potential top notcher and running a good 5th in the Albert Bartlett. His stable’s runners rarely need the race and a mark of 140 looks very decent for his second season debut.
Please subscribe for latest tips and news, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook