Racing: With the big betting race, the Heroes Hurdle, cancelled at Sandown and Doncaster set to attract a classy entry for their rearranged Champion Hurdle trial on Monday, the feature meeting of the day is now at Ffos Las with the Welsh Champion Hurdle (2.05) and West Wales National (2.40) the highlights.
The ground at the Welsh track will be typically hock deep and that should suit the Alan King-trained Medinas, who has been given a nice break by the Lambourn trainer following his run behind At Fisher’s Cross at Cheltenham in December.
There is little doubt that the three miles that day was a shade further than the son of Malinas wants to go so the step back to two and a half miles on testing ground should prove right up his street here.
The three-and-a-half-mile West Wales National is obviously going to take some getting and those with course form will be at a huge advantage in this slugfest.
I think that Cannington Brook has been collared by the handicapper again, even though he will enjoy conditions, while Carruthers has paid for his recent win at the track by shooting up the weights again so the nod goes to Alfie Spinner.
Forget his run at Sandown last time out when they just went a wee bit too fast for him. Going left-handed and in a slightly slower run race will help and we know he acts on the ground.
A mark of 144 looks fair enough on the balance of what he has achieved and he should go close.
At Lingfield Park, take a second look at Haadeeth in the 2.20. He hails from an in-form yard and is well handicapped to boot, while I also fancy David Evans may double up in the following event at 3.30 with Verse of Love.
With the Cheltenham festival only six weeks away I thought I would start a week by week section highlighting horses I fancy for the main event of the season.
The Willie Mullins-trained Blood Coltil (Triumph Hurdle) is first on the list. A fair performer on the flat in France, he has impressed in his two starts to date over hurdles, the first at Fairyhouse when he merely had an exercise canter and then in a Grade Two event at Leopardstown.
On that second run it looked for a moment turning for home as if he would struggle to retain his unbeaten record, but a fine turn of foot and good jump at the last settled matters in a few strides.
He is likely to run in a Grade One on Hennessy day in a weeks’ time, so grab the 12/1 now he could be a whole lot shorter come four o‘clock on February 9.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.