Racing: It's a great day and evening of racing at home and abroad tomorrow with Ascot and Wetherby hoisting the National Hunt flag in England and the Breeders’ Cup in Santa Anita.
We’ll start on home shores and the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby (3.25) where the likely favourite is going to be the Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco ContI whose best run last year was arguably his closing second behind Grands Crus in the Feltham Chase at Kempton Park.
The King George is his first main aim of the season, but this is a valuable prize in its own right and he looks sure to start a short priced favourite.
However odds in the region of 5/4 are not on my radar and it could pay to oppose him with Planet of Sound.
The drying ground will be hugely in the favour of the Phillip Hobbs chaser and he has a superb record fresh to boot and the yard is in cracking form to boot.
Approximately 35 minutes earlier on, Smad Place can cement his claim to be one of the more serious rivals to the great Big Buck’s in this year’s long-distance hurdles series when he makes his seasonal debut in the West Yorkshire Hurdle.
He wasn’t beaten all that far in the World Hurdle in March and has plenty of improvement to come while the supreme champion is going to hit the downslope sooner rather than later in my book.
Over at Ascot the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 3.10 looks hugely competitive as you would expect with such a cracking prize on offer.
Tullamore Dew has a pretty good record fresh and twice ran well at the track last season. I make him the biggest danger to Cannington Brook trained by Colin Tizzard. I think we have yet to see the very best of this eight-year-old and he too can go well off a break and take care of the “Dew,” along with Ace High and Join Together.
Newmarket’s big race of the day is at 3.05 and with the ground drying out I am looking to oppose the Godolphin six-year-old Prince Siegfried. The vote goes to Primevere whose turn of foot could prove decisive in such a small field.
Over at Santa Anita, I expect Excelebration to trump the US champ Wise Dan in the Mile at 11.40.
The only slight concern is that Aiden O’Brien’s charge only ran two weeks ago in the QEII at Ascot, but he hardly turned a hair that day winning easily.
The Classic at 12.35 should see To Honor and Serve go close at an each-way price despite his draw wide out in stall 12, while I fancy the Turf prize will go to last year’s winner St Nicholas Abbey.
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