Outlander Trusted To Land Spoils At Haydock
Heavy conditions at Haydock has unfortunately deprived us of seeing the return of Gold Cup winner Sizing John this weekend.
It will be fairly testing at Haydock by the time our two selections from there run on Saturday but hopefully the conditions will help fill the coffers coming up to Christmas.
First Irish winner in Haydock feature
The Betfair Chase has never had an Irish-trained winner but as he often does Gordon Elliott might be able to change that this afternoon.
Elliott sends over Outlander who has been a very lucky horse for Jack Kennedy but sometimes expensive to follow for the general public.
A wave of confidence after his Lexus Chase win last year saw Outlander sent off at just 10/1 for the Gold Cup but he disappointed there and was worse again at Punchestown but it was subsequently found out he was suffering from a kissing spine.
Now that has been rectified, Outlander struggled with his confidence according to connections at Punchestown,
but has since won the Grade One at Down Royal and can be trusted to land the spoils in Haydock.
Cue Card has been some horse for connections. The Gold Cup hasn’t been his stage but they’ve had some sport out of the eight-time Grade One winner but I just struggle to see him get home here today on the ground and with the increase in trip.
Bristol De Mai looks awfully short for what he has achieved and there’s no way he’d have been close to Outlander or Don Poli in the Lexus last December and hopefully Outlander and prove his followers right.
Power to make trip worthwhile
Robbie Power’s book of rides at Haydock is reduced to two with the ace in the pack missing but he could still make it a worthwhile trip aboard Robinsfirth in the finale.
Colin Tizzard has shown great faith in Power and flies him over to ride non Potts horses whenever possible and after a fine effort first time up, Robinsfirth can land the spoils here with natural improvement.
The Tizzard horses look to be coming on for their first outing of the campaign and Robinsfirth can be the latest to prove that point on ground and a trip that he looks to relish. He’s lightly raced so hopefully relatively unexposed as a result.
Sire to score at Ascot
There’s two Grade One winners at different stages of their career lining up at Ascot with Sire De Grugy looking like a worthy favourite to win a second consecutive renewal of the Shawbrook Handicap Chase for the Moore’s.
The ground is a bit better at Ascot than it is at Haydock but it should be ideal for the 2014 Champion Chase winner who has given his connections some incredible days and can provide them with another to appreciate here.
A strong case can be made for San Benedeto in the race as he’s getting plenty of weight off the selection and Quite By Chance represents the Tizzards and could be dangerous as a course and distance winner having his second start of the campaign.
But, the rest look to be hard to make a case for and Sire De Grugy definitely has that bit of class that is hard to find. He was well beaten over hurdles on his comeback but connections were happy and hopefully they’ll be happier later today.
The other Grade One performer of note at Ascot is Defi Du Seuil and if you do back odds on shots, this one looks an early Christmas present at 4/6 even allowing for this being his first time over 2m3f and in open company.
He’s a class act, who’d never beat Faugheen in a Champion Hurdle, but he’d have a fair chance in that race if Faugheen doesn’t make it that far.
Defi Du Seuil (4/5) – 2.40 Ascot
Outlander (5/1) – 3.00 Haydock
Robinsfirth (7/2) – 3.35 Haydock
*Prices correct at time of publication