With the abandonment of Leopardstown due to waterlogging today, we’ve sadly been denied four Grade 1 races and Cheltenham clues aplenty that would have no doubt been thrown up. So it was left to Sandown, Ffos Las and Wetherby yesterday and Musselburgh today (Cathryn will cover later) to provide some clues to help punters solve parts of the upcoming Prestbury Park puzzle.
At Sandown, Medermit booked his ticket to Cheltenham where he’ll contest the for which he is now as low as 8/1. The Arkle as well as the new Jewson Novices Chase are options for the horses that finished behind him. Medermit jumped well throughout in a very competitive novice chase, formerly known as the Scilly Isles Chase, and showed determination to hold off the challenge of Captain Chris who has now finished 2nd in all three of his chase starts. Like the fourth horse Rock Noir he was let down by jumping errors.
Earlier in the day Binocular was workmanlike in the Contenders Hurdle in what was supposed to be a ‘run around’. I’m still not convinced about this horse’s consistency and he’ll probably either win impressively at Cheltenham in the Champion Hurdle or come nowhere. Bookies pushed out this price and he is widely available at 100/30.
Over at Ffos Las, his stablemate Oscar Whisky was up also up against inferior opposition in the Welsh Champion Hurdle but was much more impressive. He travelled nicely and only had to be pushed out by Barry Geraghty to win convincingly. His target is now almost certainly the Champion where his odds were cut into as low as 10/1 from a best priced 16/1 but 14/1 is still generally available.
Another win for the Henderson yard came in shape of Sprinter Sacre in the opening the novice hurdle. He looked high class and could well go for the Supreme although connections wouldn’t confirm. 25/1 on Saturday morning he is now a stand out 16/1 with Coral.
At Wetherby, Wayward Price ground out another win in the Totown Novices Chase making it 3 out of 3 over fences. He remains a 16/1 chance for the RSA Chase and whilst perhaps not having the class of Time For Rupert, looks a likely type.