14.05 – Class 2 Handicap (Haydock)
Kicking things off at Haydock, and I’m really drawn to CALDER PRINCE .
The five-year-old is a course-and-distance winner from last July and has a very decent record here (212-38).
He also has plenty of experience, including over at Meydan and most recently on the All-Weather, where he powered home by six lengths at Wolverhampton earlier this month.
Tom Dascombe and Richard Kingscote have enjoyed lots of success on this course and I think they could be set for more here.
15.35 – Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Sandown)
Peter Bowen landed a shock 40/1 winner in this race last year with Henllan Harri .
He’s an eight-year-old with some decent performances under his belt, including a big handicap chase victory at Ascot in November 2016 and two respectable runner-up spots to Regal Encore on the same course.
He’s really well-handicapped at 10-2 and also has James Bowen in the saddle for the first time bringing his 3lb claim on board.
The 3m 4f is a slightly longer trip than usual, but I still think he’s got a great chance.
16.05 – Select Hurdle (Sandown)
I’m a big fan of Wholestone .
Trained by Nicky Henderson, this five-year-old has been very impressive so far with two wins – both on this course by over three lengths – one second – when he was denied a hat-trick in the Imperial Cup – and a third from five trips.
He was carrying top weight at 11-12 in the most recent of those runs here, but has a 6lb advantage over his nearest rivals on Saturday.
A brilliant jumper and proven in the toughest of conditions, I think he’s the one to beat.
16.25 – Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (Punchestown)
The final tip of the day comes from Punchestown, where I’m going for Gordon Elliot’s FARCLAS .
He was a fantastic winner of the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, beating Mr Adjudicator by 1¾ lengths.
The latter did get the better of him at Leopardstown in February, but his later performance in March was very commanding.
He travels so well and, with the excellent Jack Kennedy on board again, I think he should add another Grade 1 to the collection here.
CALL ME LORD
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