Can Saint Calvados compete in the 2m championship races?

Saint Calvados won well off top weight and in slow ground, but it didn’t come as a great shock – he was well punted, and his trainers’ horses are in great form.

He travelled very well, jumped slickly and out-battled a horse he was giving lumps of weight to up the hill.

It wasn’t a strong race at all, though, and he’d need to improve again if he’s going to get near the top two milers, but with that division wide open he should certainly aim for those races.


Should Slate House stick to Novices’ races or go for the BV Gold Cup?

Slate House was an absolute monster in the Novices’ Chase on Saturday.

He was in a different class to his rivals and might as well have been named the winner almost from the start.

There are plenty of options for him, but the novice chase division is going to be the hottest it’s been in years this year and I’d be wary of some of the exciting novices who we’re yet to see this season.

It will all dictated by what the handicapper does.

How impressive was Battleoverdoyen’s win at Galway?

He is a massive horse and probably needs another year or two to reach his full potential. He’s for the RSA Chase but I wouldn’t be rushing in to back him at the moment.

He’s sure to win plenty of races in Ireland this season, though.

He’ll improve upon that win yesterday, where he was rather workmanlike in a race that fell apart, but I’d say there are going to plenty of exciting additions to the staying novices’ chase division this year.

Did anything else catch your eye this weekend?

Fergal O’Brien’s horses are flying, and he introduced a lovely, big raw horse at Cheltenham in the bumper on Saturday called Butte Montana, who travelled beautifully before tiring in the testing ground.

He’ll soon be winning races, that’s for sure.


What are you looking forward to this week?

The Ascot card on Saturday is usually very competitive and is a fixture I look forward to every year.

Up at Wetherby there is the Charlie Hall Chase, which has been won by Cue Card, Bristol de Mai and Definitly Red in the past few years. There will be plenty of Gold Cup clues on offer there.

Elsewhere, the re-scheduled Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle on Friday night will be exciting as the first Group 1 to be run on the AW in the UK.

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