Paul Callaghan’s Haydock & Ascot Racing Tips – Saturday 21st November

Former national hunt jockey and now broadcaster Paul Callaghan takes a look at today’s racing at Haydock and Ascot.


1.15 – Graduation Chase (GBB Race) over 2 miles 5 furlongs 127 yards.

Dashel Drasher is a horse I really like in this. He won four of his seven races over hurdles but looked quite immature and could always put in the odd clumsy leap as a result.

He’s one victory from two completed starts over fences, having unseated at the first fence, in a Novices’ Chase won by Champ at Newbury almost one year ago.

He’s a big horse who I think should have matured since his last run. However, having said that, this is his first run since early December last year. It’s also his first start since having a wind operation.

I think the opening half mile is going to be crucial for jockey Matt Griffiths to get him settled and into a nice jumping rhythm.

If he does, I fully expect him to be bang there come the business end of things. He’s a horse I like a lot.

2.25 – Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) over 3 miles.

A whole host of chances here. The Jam Man is sure to be a name on a lot of betting slips. Connections are opting to claim 5 lbs off 11st 5 lbs, which in my opinion indicates that he may not have much in hand of the handicapper.

At an each way price, Wholestone is on a dangerous handicap mark. He’s running off 149 but he has won off a handicap mark of 158 in the past. Any market confidence should be noted.

However, it’s Imperial Alcazar who gets my vote for trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey Paddy Brennan. The son of Vinnie Roe has yet to finish out of the first four in seven career starts.

If you can cast your mind back to New Year’s Day, he got the better of Protektorat in a close finish at Cheltenham, only to be placed second following an appeal.

Protektorat demolished his opponents over fences at the Open Meeting at Cheltenham last weekend. My main concern is that it’s his first run since January, but he won on his seasonal reappearance last year so fitness is taken on trust.

3pm – Betfair Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) over 3 miles 1 furlong 125 yards.

Despite only five runners facing the starter, we are set for a real cracker.

Lostintranslation looks to defend his crown but unlike last year, comes into this race without the benefit of having a recent run.

Bristol De Mai is looking for his third victory in the race having been denied into second place last year.

Clan Des Obeaux, who was fourth behind Bristol De Mai in the 2018 renewal and has two victories in the King George to his name, also takes his chance.

It looks between these three and it’s Lostintranslation who gets a confident vote from me, representing trainer Colin Tizzard and is ridden by BoyleSports’ horse racing ambassador Robbie Power.

I love the horse and actually fancied him to go through last season unbeaten, so needless to say, I was gutted watching his lacklustre performance in last season’s King George.

I was delighted, as I’m sure many of you were, to see him bounce back to finish a galant third in the Gold Cup at the festival last March during a week when the Tizzard stable were quiet.

Lostintranslation comes into this year’s renewal a fresh horse, the vibes have been positive and the yard have hit form in the last ten days.

I’m looking forward to a cracking horse race! May the best horse win and that horse for me is Lostintranslation.

3.35 – Stayers’ Handicap Chase over 3 miles 4 furlongs.

I think this can go the way of the Nigel Hawke trained Alminar, ridden by David Noonan.

He was a winner on heavy ground at Chepstow last season over 3 miles. He was third on seasonal reappearance in the amateur chase at Cheltenham’s showcase meeting last month, and has since had a wind procedure.

It’s interesting that connections have opted not to claim – indicating his handicap mark of 119 should be within his range. Alminar will like the ground and could well relish this marathon trip.


2.05 – Grade 2 Chase over 2 miles 5 furlongs.

Imperial Aura will take the beating here. He was a winner at the festival beating Galvin into second place.

He won the intermediate chase at Carlisle on his seasonal reappearance, a race which was won last year by Lostintranslation. The son of Kalanisi has yet to finish out of the first three in a total of ten starts.

3.17 – Handicap Chase (GBB Race) over 2 miles.

I like First Flow here. He rarely runs a bad race, he’s seven victories from fifteen starts in total and is looking for his fourth straight success.

Trained by Kim Bailey, I’m expecting a typical positive ride from David Bass.

An action packed Saturday awaits, get those bets on early and enjoy every minute of it!