Katie Walsh: I can't look past Defi Du Seuil in the Tingle Creek
The Betway ambassador picks out the horses she likes the look of at Sandown, Aintree and Navan on Saturday and Huntingdon and Cork on Sunday.
I have to start by offering my congratulations to Hollie Doyle on her record-breaking success this week.
She is unbelievable, isn’t she? I absolutely love watching her ride as she has such a great racing brain and she’s strong in a finish too. I’ve no doubt she’s going to keep improving, too.
Huntingdon and Cork on Sunday
On Sunday, there’s plenty of good racing going on.
The Peterborough Chase (14:00) at Huntingdon is the feature in England and the focus will be on whether La Bague Au Roi can return to form after she pulled up in the Charlie Hall.
I think they all have to beat ASO , trained by Venetia Williams. He was a superb second in the Ryanair Chase last year and always seems to be overlooked. He was a good third on his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall chase, but this trip of 2m3f will suit him better. Any cut in the ground will help – as it does with most of Venetia’s horses.
The Grade One John Durkan Chase at Punchestown (13:50) is another great race. Min goes well fresh and has an obvious favourite's chance, but, given the race conditions, I do think SHATTERED LOVE will go very well.
She’s getting seven pounds from the geldings and has the benefit of a run under her belt this season. With Gordon’s [Elliott] horses flying, I really don’t think she’ll be too far away. It’s worth remembering that she won a JLT Chase two years ago, so she has plenty of class.
Cork is a racecourse where the fences come at you thick and fast and you need to be able to jump well.
In the 14:35, i’m a big fan of BALLYOISIN who is so slick over his fences and, given his experience, I think he’ll be able to cope with the demands and should be tough to beat in this four-runner affair.
Sandown and Aintree on Saturday
The big race on Saturday is the Tingle Creek at Sandown Park. While it’d be some roar if Un De Sceaux wins the race again, I can’t see past DEFI DU SEUIL .
He has age on his side, is fast improving and is all class. He was a good winner at Cheltenham last time, and I don’t see why he shouldn’t beat Politologue again. It’s going to be a great race as there are plenty of good horses in the line-up, but I do think it’ll be the Phillip Hobbs-trained gelding that’ll take the spoils.
The Becher Chase at Aintree is a race I love to watch. It’s always wide open and this year is no different.
You could make a case for plenty in the field, but I can’t understand why LE BREUIL is such a big price. He won the four-miler at the Festival, so we know he stays well, and has the added benefit of Jamie Codd going over for the ride.
Jamie is such a good rider and he’ll no doubt have him in a good position and hunt him around, just popping away at those fences. I know there has been a cloud over Ben Pauling’s yard, but it’s good to see him having entries again, so they must be showing signs of improvement at home. I can see him running a big race.
At Navan, there is a really good Grade B Handicap Hurdle over an extended three-mile trip and the one horse I think must take some stopping is TOUT ET PERMIS .
He’s better known for being a chaser, a discipline he’s rated 155 over. On his first run over hurdles since January last year, however, he runs off a mark of 114. With the excellent Rachel Blackmore on top, he really must take some beating if he transfers his fences form to hurdles.
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