Andrew Balding: 12 runners in action on a busy weekend
The Betway ambassador previews his eight runners from Newmarket, Haydock, Ripon and Chelmsford on Saturday, as well as another four from Sunday's cards.
Discomatic has shaped alright at home and we’re looking forward to getting him started. Chester isn’t the easiest place to go first time out, but I’ve found that they learn plenty and that won’t be lost on him.
Fox Duty Free really hasn’t been the easiest to train – he seems to have a mind of his own. With that said, he’s seemed to be in a good frame of mind over the past couple of weeks and that might be telling. He’s been gelded and we’re just hoping he runs a nice race.
La Hulotte is a lovely, big Lope De Vega filly who has been a slow burner. She’s a late maturing type so we’ve not asked too many questions of her, but I know she won’t want it too quick, so I hope they get a little rain that is forecast.
Edinburgh Castle has a bit of course form and this extra two furlongs should help him. He seems in great form at home, so I’d be hopeful he’ll run a big race.
Nebulosa was a bit too free on her debut. She couldn’t settle so in the circumstances, but she didn’t run too badly at all.
That was hopefully largely down to inexperience and if she settles better on this second start, she could go a little closer.
Deira Champion is a lovely, big stayer in the making. He’s still a bit raw and, whatever he achieves, I’m sure he’ll come on a huge amount. He goes well enough at home, but he does look one for next year.
Alcohol Free looked very smart when she was a good winner at Newbury on her debut. She was second in the Dick Poole last time out, but I’m confident in saying she’d have got a little closer with a better draw on that day.
She’ll have benefitted from that experience and if you think Happy Romance has a chance, then she must have one too.
Tactical has got a legitimate excuse for his display in the Morny last time out – the ground was desperate, and he was just never comfortable on it.
He’s got lots of talent and showed that when winning both the Windsor Castle and the July Stakes. He deserves to be running in the top races and I hope he can go close.
Bell Rock has had this race as his target since his run at Goodwood. He goes well fresh and he showed that when he won first time up at Newmarket in June. You need a lot of luck in running in these big field handicaps, but he’s got lots of ability and we hope he’s drawn well.
Good Birthday was third in the Cambridgeshire last year and although he hasn’t hit the heights we’d hoped he would this year, we haven’t been discouraged by him.
He’s come out of his recent Newbury race well, which just wasn’t run to suit him and it hasn’t taken anything out of him. This test should suit him well and I’d be delighted if he could get placed again.
Rick Blaine did very well to win at Haydock last time out. The more rain they have at Ripon the better, as he seemed to relish the testing conditions at Haydock.
He carries a penalty of which we’re hoping Callum Hutchinson’s claim will negate, but make no mistake, these races are so tough to win at this time of the year.
Shine So Bright is experiencing a drop in class but there a couple of unknowns. He’s running on the all-weather and running around a bend, but if they both suit him well, he’s got obvious claims on the best of his form.
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