Key Horses In Action This Weekend
We’re in for a treat this weekend, with a total of EIGHT Graded races across the cards, including a trio of Grade 1’s at Sandown on Saturday. There’s sure to be plenty of pointers for the Cheltenham Festival this weekend, so we’re going to run through all the big names we can look forward to seeing over the next couple of days:
We’ll start things off with a trio of Grade 1’s on the Sandown card. First up we have the rescheduled Fighting Fifth Hurdle (1.15pm), where we should see the reappearance of Nicky Henderson’s monstrous CONSTITUTION HILL (weather permitting), alongside stablemate SHISHKIN and a couple of talented mares in LOVE ENVOI and YOU WEAR IT WELL. Constitution Hill ran out an easy winner of this race last year and is impossible to oppose if he does run on Saturday.
Next up we have the Betfair Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (1.50pm) – a race that has been won by the likes of Altior, Edwardstone and Jonbon in recent years. This year’s race features just six runners, but it looks to be between JPR ONE, COLONEL HARRY, ICEO and UNEXPECTED PARTY. JPR One has already got the better of Iceo this season and should prove tough to beat, but Colonel Harry could give him plenty to think about after a winning debut over fences last month.
The final Grade 1 is the Tingle Creek Chase (3.00pm), and the race seems to centre around another Nicky Henderson superstar in JONBON. Last year’s winner EDWARDSTONE also lines up, as well as the improving BOOTHILL, but they will struggle to beat an on-song Jonbon, who can give Nicky Henderson his first winner of the race since Altior won the race back in 2018.
There’s also the likes of WILLMOUNT, CHANTRY HOUSE, IMPOSE TOI, BEAUPORT and FONTAINE COLLONGES in action on the Sandown card, on what looks one of the best cards of the season so far.
Aintree also hosts an interesting card, with the feature being the Becher Handicap Chase (2.05pm), which is run over the unique Grand National fences. Last year’s winner ASHTOWN LAD will bid to retain his crown, but faces a tough challenge from the likes of PERCUSSION, THE BIG BREAKAWAY, CELEBRE D’ALLEN and COKO BEACH.
ZAMBELLA has won the last two renewals of the Listed Mares’ Chase and bids to complete the hat-trick, but PINK LEGEND finished ahead of her at Cheltenham in March and could confirm that form on Saturday.
The Handicap Chase (1.30pm) features the likes of BRAVE SEASCA, HELTENHAM, RICHMOND LAKE and WAR LORD, whilst the final race on the card (3.15pm) has SONIGINO, BASHERS REFLECTION and VICKI VALE set to line up.
Elsewhere, there’s the Welsh Grand National Trial (1.37pm) at Chepstow, as well as an excellent looking Grade 2 at Navan (1.07pm) that features SLADE STEEL, STELLAR STORY and BETTER DAYS AHEAD.
Coral Gold Cup winning jumps trainer Jamie Snowden, who trains our very own Wendigo and Farceur Du Large, has three his stars in action on Saturday:
- Roger Pol (12.20pm Aintree)
- You Wear It Well (1.15 Sandown)
- Colonel Harry (1.50 Sandown)
The pick of the action on Sunday comes from over in Ireland, with three Graded races on the card at Cork. The Stayers Novice Hurdle (1.15pm) could see the impressive CROKE PARK back in action, but could face a challenge from MAHON’S WAY, SOLITARY MAN and WHAT PATH.
The Mares Novice Chase (1.45pm) could see ZENTA make her eagerly awaited debut over fences, having last been seen winning the Grade 1 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree in April. She won’t have it all her own way though, with stablemate HAUTURIERE and Gordon Elliott’s HARMONYA MAKER also entered.
The feature race on the card is the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase (2.15pm) where the electric EL FABIOLO looks set to make his seasonal reappearance. Willie Mullins star won all four races over fences last season and is one of the most exciting horses in training, so should take some stopping if he does run. Taking him on will be the likes of RIVIERE D’ETEL and JUNGLE BOOGIE, although it’s difficult to see them giving El Fabiolo too much trouble.
Huntingdon hosts one of their biggest meetings of the season, with the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase the highest calibre race on their calendar. The race has been dominated by British trained winners recently, but if FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES, JANIDIL and BANBRIDGE line up, that could certainly change. Heading the challenge for the home team is JETOILE and SOLO, with the latter representing last year’s winning combination of Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
Make sure you’re following us across all our social media platforms, to see all the latest updates on our syndicate horses: