Andrew Balding: My thoughts on our 7 Easter weekend runners
The Betway ambassador assesses the chances of his Friday and Saturday runners, who are in action at Chelmsford, Lingfield, Newcastle and Musselburgh.
We run two in the Betway Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh (15:35).
Nate The Great is a very straightforward and is a lovely horse to have in the yard. He won well last time and I think he’s got every chance here, although it is very competitive.
We also run Diocletian , who is fit from his hurdling efforts. He does have his own ideas about the game sometimes but, if he settles well, he could also have a good chance.
Spirit Warning was disappointing last year, but we’re hoping to see more from him this season. He’s a course winner who has pleased me in his work of late.
He might take a couple of runs to get back into the swing of things, but if he puts his best foot forward in the opening race at Chelmsford (13:50), then he’ll have an each-way squeak.
On ability alone, I think Ranch Hand has got every chance in the Betway Marathon (Lingfield, 14:00). He seems in good nick at home and he’s showing good fitness levels.
The only question is whether he’ll be suited by the nature of the track at Lingfield, but there’s only one way to find out.
Napper Tandy was a bit unlucky at Wolverhampton last time, but I do think he’ll be much more suited by Newcastle (16:00). It’s a strong race and you could make a case for any of the runners, but we’re fit and well, so we’re taking our chance.
Bangkok has an obvious chance in the Betway Easter Classic (Lingfield, 16:15). He won the Betway Winter Derby Trial earlier in the year over course and distance and still holds the track record over 1m 2f.
He’s tactically more versatile now, so whether they crawl or go a good clip, then he can handle either. He did have a tough race in Saudi last time, but he seems very well in his work at home. We’re hopeful.
Imperial Force was obviously very disappointing after Royal Ascot last season, although he had a valid excuse for Haydock. We think the visor will sharpen him up and, on form alone, he’s the one to beat in the race (Newcastle, 17:00).
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