Weekend Preview Horse Racing Betting Preview – 9th November 2019
Wincanton 3.00 (Saturday) – Unibet Elite Hurdle – Grade 2 – 2m
Fusil Raffles makes his eagerly awaited seasonal debut here rather than in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham next weekend, which his trainer Nicky Henderson had hinted at in preseason stable tours. The French import shot to the head of the Triumph Hurdle betting after a hugely impressive UK debut at Kempton. An over reach injury forced him to miss the festival but he was impressive when sent over to Punchestown for the Grade 1 four year old novice hurdle. Daryl Jacob reported that the son of Saint Des Saints has strengthened up over the summer and he rates an exciting prospect. He should really be winning this on his way to better things if he is to justify his position towards the top of the Champion Hurdle market.
The obvious danger in the small runner field is Grand Sancy. The Paul Nicholls trained runner was second in the Tolworth Hurdle last season before finishing down the field in the Supreme. He is consistent but doesn’t look like he will be a potential Champion Hurdle contender like the selection Fusil Raffles. He has a run under his belt this season but that resulted in a fall when beaten at Kempton. With a potential confidence knock and the fact he has to give 3 pounds to Fusil Raffles makes the selection a strong one.
Naas 12.30 (Saturday) – Fishery Lane Hurdle – Grade 3 – 2m
Tiger Tap Tap put it up to the ill-fated Sir Erec at Leopardstown last season and you would have to believe that his 9th in Triumph wasn’t his true showing. It will be interesting to see how he gets on this season in open company.
The horse I am interested to see in this race is Arverne. He won a 3-year-old hurdle at Auteuil on his final start in France before being bought by leading owner JP McManus. He was then pitched straight into the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow last December where he finished third to Quel Destin. He has since been moved to Gavin Cromwell and it is interesting that he’s being pitched straight into a graded race on his first start in Ireland. He may not be good enough to win this first time up but he clearly has above average ability and is one to follow.
Naas 1:05 (Saturday) – Poplar Square Chase – Grade 3 – 2m
Cilaos Emery makes his eagerly awaited return here. His season was sadly cut short due to injury last year but the form of the beginners chase he won at Gowran is exceptional, Duc Des Genievres could only finish third!
Ornua and Duca De Thaix are both horses to follow this season but Cilaos Emery should have too much for them on this occasion, especially with his record when fresh.
Navan 1.05 – Lismullen Hurdle (Grade 2)
Apple’s Jade aims to get her career back on track in the Lismullen Hurdle on Sunday at Navan. The talented mare’s form has drifted off in the second half of the last two seasons but now is normally the time to catch her right. This looks hers for the taking and it will be interesting to see if she can hold her form in the second half of the season this time around.
Her obvious danger in another small runner field looks to be Bacardys. Willie Mullins’ stayer is very likeable, but he may lack the gears that Apple’s Jade possesses. Later in the season is when he may be seen at his optimum and he’s one to note for Punchestown in April regardless of his form during the rest of the season.
The Grand National second Magic Of Light makes her seasonal reappearance here but she will surely only have one race in mind this season in a second crack at the Grand National.
Navan 2.10 – Fortria Chase – (Grade 2) – 2m and touch on the race after this.
Arguably the race of the weekend is the Fortria Chase at Navan on Sunday. There may only be five runners but they incluse two winners at last years Cheltenham festival.
A Plus Tard was an emphatic 16 length winner of the Close Brothers at the festival over 2m 4f. He was then purely out stayed by Delta Work in the 3 mile Grade 1 Novice Chase at the Punchestown festival. He starts off his second season over fences at 2 miles but the soft ground will ensure this is a test. Middle distances will surely be his game on better ground and he is my long term fancy for the Ryanair in March.
Duc Des Genievres is at the head of the market with A Plus Tard for this and last seasons Arkle winner goes well on this slow ground. The form of the Arkle is questionable however, and he was beaten by A Plus Tard on his first outing last season. There was seven pounds between them last time and there are eight today so based on that A Plus Tard is our selection.
Hardline and Ballyoisin are both lovely horses but the conditions of this race do not favour them and they may have to wait for another day to get their heads in front this season.
Jollys Cracked It
– Harry Fry’s gelding ran at Ascot last Saturday making his seasonal reappearance. He tracked a wide course throughout before making a serious mistake in the back straight. He still managed to move into third with a challenge on the home bend before his lack of fitness told. He weakened inside the final two furlongs but he ran a lot better than his finishing position suggests and should be competitive in handicaps this season.
– This gelded son of Doyen was placed in 3 bumpers last season and brought his form to a new level at Huntingdon last Sunday. He was upped to 2m3.5f for his hurdles debut which looked his new minimum trip judging by the rate he ran on at the finish. Badly hampered 3 out, he had to be gathered together by jockey Paddy Brennan before staying on really strongly to only be beaten ½ a length. His form figures may lead you to believe he is ungenuine, but his head was in front just after the line and this lad should be winning on his next start if in the right grade. He was well supported for the Huntingdon race so if you fancy him get on early.
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