Katie Walsh: My horses to watch on Saturday
The Betway ambassador runs through the horses she fancies at Sandown and Navan and looks ahead to Cheltenham Festival next week.
It’s the final weekend before the Cheltenham Festival. All preparations are in place, and it looks set to be a cracking week.
The six-day entries are coming in and we’re seeing all the top horses standing their ground. It’s a nervous time for all connections though. A slight mishap at this stage and the whole season’s plan could be down the drain.
I’m looking forward to joining my first Twitter Space on Sunday at 19:00 for Betway.
There’ll be a few of us talking about our fancies for the week ahead, so it’ll be worth joining in if you can.
However, there’s a good card at Sandown on Saturday to deal with first!
The EBF Final (13:50) is always a competitive race and, although he’ll be some price, George’s Saint sneaks in at the bottom and might have just snuck under people’s radar. His form in France was fair and we all know how good Venetia Williams is with her French imports. She can improve them, and I’d be surprised if 116 was his ceiling.
The Imperial Cup (14:25) looks another competitive race, but you can’t come away from Balco Coastal . Nicky Henderson has given him so many favourable mentions this year and was arguably unlucky in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham last time. I’d say he’s very well handicapped off 134.
The Listed Mares’ Bumper (15:00) is another race that is always well contested, Willie Mullins is even sending one over for it. Mullenbeg is the one to beat on her Cheltenham win in January.
I did like the way that Luccia did it at Warwick on her debut, too. She’s also getting a stone from the favourite and that could make the difference.
There’s a half decent card at Navan on Saturday, too. I’d say Bodhisattva (13:40) will take all the beating in the first for Gordon (Elliott) and Robbie (Power).
It looks like Gordon could win the second race with Dartington (14:15) under Davy Russell.
The Feature race is the Webster Cup (16:00), which Any Second Now won last year for Dad. I’d love to see Master McShee win it for Paddy Corkery and Ian Power. They’ve had a grand season so far but winning this would top the lot for them.
It’s a good race mind. Cilaos Emery is very good on his day, but you just never know when that day is going to be.
I want to give a big mention to Jack Foley who has been booked to ride a couple for Willie on Sunday at Limerick. It’s a big opportunity for a young jockey when they get supported by the big yards.
I’m sure his mounts for Willie will all be short priced, so I hope he gets the job done and he can kick on from this great experience.
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