Paul Callaghan racing

Paul Callaghan’s Saturday Racing Preview | 13th March

Paul Callaghan takes a look at this Saturday’s Racing action at Sadown and Navan.


1.50 National Hunt Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final (Grade 3) over 2m 4f.

Eighteen runners taking their chance and incredibly, a fair case can be made for almost all of them. Karl Philippe is sure to be popular, carrying the colours of Harry Redknapp. He won last time out at Exeter over the extended 2m 2f trip. Prior to that he ran to within a half length second behind Martinhal, who he meets on 3lbs better terms in today’s contest but his jumping is a little sketchy and it will need to be a lot slicker here.

Striking A Pose put in an exhibition around Exeter on his last start, making it 2 victories from 4 starts under rules and the son of Getaway is not passed over lightly.

It is the 133 rated Martinhal, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore who gets my vote. He’s unbeaten since having a wind procedure carried out. He has showed a cracking attitude when winning on his last two starts and I think it worth noting that Tom Scudamore rides quite regularly for the Tizzard stable.

I know David Pipe is his boss but I would imagine that he could have rode Striking A Pose, although I cannot confirm! Taking into account that Martinhal carries top weight of 11st 12lbs, connections have opted not to claim, which indicates his mark of 133 in this contest, should see him competitive and he is held in high regard.

2.25 Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) over 2m.

I think we are going to see an improved performance from the Dan Skelton trained Langer Dan, who is partnered for the first time since finishing sixth in the Boodles Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season, by brother Harry. He’s 2 wins from only 8 starts, this is his second run since having a wind operation carried out.

If you look at his last run at Market Rasen on the 21st of February. Langer Dan finished fourth, only beaten by six and a half lengths by the winner, he made eye catching progress up the home straight. I think that run will have left him spot on for this.

3.35 Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed Race) over 2m 4f.

I like the Paul Nicholls trained, lightly raced Stratagem partnered by jockey Harry Cobden. Although only a 5 year old, he’s a typical ready made French recruit, having scored at Doncaster in convincing fashion, when he beat the 146 rated Ballymoy by 5 lengths.

Stratagem parted company with Harry Cobden at the first fence, when odds on favourite for a Novices’ Chase at Plumpton in early December. He can jump a little too extravagant in the early stages but as the race goes on, he is fine.

A concern would be that the Railway Fences come up quite quickly here, so hopefully that experience at Doncaster will stand to him in the early stages. I think with a clear round, he’ll go close.


3.55 Grade 2 Chase.

Daly Tiger gets the nod in this one for the trainer/jockey combination of Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan. He won a decent handicap chase at Fairyhouse on his penultimate start and has since chased Cilaos Emery home, in a Grade 3 contest at Naas last month.

Cilaos Emery won by a commanding 11 lengths but Daly Tiger kept him honest from flag fall up until the approach to the second last fence. He will love the ground and I think connections have found a good opportunity for Daly Tiger to land his first Graded success.

4.30 Novice Handicap Chase Final (Grade B) over 3m.

I quite like Mr Hendricks for trainer Jessica Harrington and BoyleSports horse racing ambassador, jockey Robbie Power. He found life tough in Graded company on his last start, pulling up in a race won by Coko Beach, but he was a good winner of a Beginners Chase over course and distance under Robbie Power at the end of January.

He won’t mind the ground, his best form is going left handed and connections are not claiming off 11st 10lbs. I’m expecting a bold show.

5.05 Handicap Chase over 2m 1f.
Despite only having 1 victory over fences, I think Conright Boy looks set to play a part in the finish, especially taking the 7lbs claim from jockey Jordan Gainford into account. That sole success over fences came in this race last year off a handicap mark of 109.

He ran a cracker to finish third on his last start over fences, in a handicap chase at Fairyhouse in February. He found things happening a little too fast over hurdles, on his last start at Naas at the end of February, when he only managed to beat four home in the end.

Back over fences with ground conditions in his favour and a talented young jockey on his back, I think Conright Boy will be on the premises come the business end of this 2m 1f contest.