Skeltons Can Lift Sam At Kempton
After a week where Kempton was the hot topic of conversation, racing will be the main focus of attention at the track on Saturday and the lucrative Lanzarote Hurdle is up for grabs.
Skelton’s Can Lift Sam
Doesyourdogbite is the worthy favourite for the Lanzarote as he comes here in fantastic form but it’s hard to know what Jonjo O’Neill’s charge still has up his sleeve and therefore it’s worth looking elsewhere for a bit of value.
Of course it is quite possible that Doesyourdogbite will continue his progression and still prove to be a blot on the handicap by close of play on Saturday but Sam Red is a horse who is taken to outrun his odds. A 10/1 shot with BoyleSports, Sam Red will make his first start for the Skelton team in this race having not raced since May when under the care of Alan Fleming for Barry Connell.
He was sent off favourite that day to win on his chasing debut but was no match for Gambling Girl but still only a six-year-old and having ran just five times over hurdles for Fleming, this horse could still be progressive enough to exploit a mark of 133. With a lovely racing weight of 10st6lbs, he does make appeal from a stable that is well able to get them fit for their first run.
Some of his form in Ireland ties in with the Grade One winner Whiteout and it would be disappointing if he can’t make the frame at least.
The Classic Chase at Warwick is a race that could see Houblon Des Obeaux return to winning ways.
The 10-year-old was well beaten as a 33/1 shot last time out in the Welsh National but he still managed to plug away into third place, albeit 17-lengths behind Native River.
Native River is the general second favourite now for the Gold Cup though and Houblon Des Obeaux was only in receipt of 5lbs from Native River that day so although he has a big weight carrying performance ahead of him for the Classic Chase, Houblon Des Obeaux seems to be in good enough form to make his mark and at odds of 10/1.
Willie Mullins has won the Moscow Flyer Hurdle at Punchestown for the last four years and will be an odds-on favourite to do so again with Crack Mome.
Not all the Mullins winners have gone on to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle but the last three, Vautour, Douvan and Min, have certainly been above average, and Vautour and Douvan did manage to claim the Supreme Novices’.
Crack Mome can be backed at 12/1 for the Cheltenham Festival opener ahead of Saturday’s Moscow Flyer Hurdle.
You’d have to imagine that won’t still be available if the Clonmel maiden hurdle winner does what his odds suggest he will at Punchestown. Crack Mome is hard to oppose but it will be fascinating to see what challenge Dr Mikey and Any Second Now put up to him.
In the finale at Punchestown Noel Meade’s Ladysingstheblues should be able to go one better than her outing her on New Year’s Eve and win the bumper under Danny Benson who has a very valuable 5lbs claim in these races.
Crack Mome 4/7 – 2.10 Punchestown
Sam Red 10/1 – 2.40 Kempton
Houblon Des Obeaux 10/1 – 3.35 Warwick
Ladysingstheblues EVS – 3.50 Punchestown
*Prices correct at time of publication.