Katie Walsh: My fancies for the racing this weekend
The Betway ambassador previews the weekend racing at Aintree, Naas, Wincanton and Navan.
Aintree on Saturday
It’s always good watching races being run over the historic Grand National fences.
The Betway Grand Sefton is always a good race and I’m glad it’s got more coverage having moved earlier in the calendar. I’m a big fan of Spyglass Hill , who is travelling over for Henry de Bromhead. I thought he ran really well in the Munster National. He’s got a lot of weight to carry, but that wouldn’t worry me in this type of race (14:15).
The Betway Hurdle looks really competitive, but I can’t get away from last year’s winner Summerville Boy . He’s in that tough position of being too good for handicaps, but not good enough for the top Grade One races, so he has to find his opportunities when they come along. This race, as we saw last year, is tailor-made for him (15:20).
Naas On Saturday
Teahupoo was only beaten once last season and that was trying to give weight away to Jeff Kidder at Fairyhouse. He wasn’t beaten far and gets a swing in the weights now. I think that’s going to be a big help for him in being able to turn that form around (12:50).
Captain Guinness is the one to beat in the Poplar Square. He was unlucky to keep running into Energumene last season, but he ran well plenty of occasions and if he comes back to his best form, he’s the one they all have to beat (13:20).
Wincanton on Saturday
It looks to me like Alan King could have a good day at Wincanton on Saturday. Wynn House looked to be an improving mare last season. She ran really well at Cheltenham last December against the boys and if she runs to that form again, she won’t be far away off her mark of 122 (14:25).
Alan King’s second winner of the day could be Sceau Royal in the Elite Hurdle. He must be a real joy to own. He’s been a grand servant to his connections and he always runs well, especially when he gets his conditions. He showed his form when dotting up at Kempton last month. It would be great to see him win another valuable prize (15:35).
Another horse to mention in that race is Sole Pretender . He ran a cracker in the Galway Hurdle and his trainer won’t take many on the ferry over to England. That could be a tip in itself.
Sunday at Navan
At this time of year, we start to see the best novice hurdles making their debut. Ginto could be right out of the top drawer and, while he’s going to be very short in the betting, it’s always exciting to see the potential stars of the future. He could be one of those. If he wins easily, his connections will be no doubt plotting a road to Cheltenham (12:10).
There has been plenty of talk about how good My Mate Mozzie is. His trainer has spoken very highly of him and he’s been savage in his career so far. I’d love to see him win (12:40).
Flooring Porter was a massive improver last season. He was an easy winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and, while this is 4f shorter, he goes from the front and could very tough to catch if he gets into a good rhythm (13:10).
The Fortira Chase (14:55) looks like a two-horse race between the two Giggingstown-owned horses, Notebook and Samcro. My preference is for Notebook , who can be really good on his day. He’s got to get into a good rhythm from the start and try to knock Samcro’s confidence. If he does that, he can come out on top.
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