Enjoy a Saturday at the Park
Man On The Spot previews all of Saturday's races from Haydock and Kempton that are live on Channel 4 .
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This looks a competitive affair with plenty arriving in decent form. Hey Big Spender won the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November and got back on track in a veterans' handicap at Ascot last time. Beforeall won at Ffos Las earlier this month and Firebird Flyer was successful at Ludlow in February, though both are racing from out of the handicap in this. It was hard not be impressed by BOLD CHIEF at Uttoxeter and he'll be very much at home on this quicker ground, which isn't the case with a few of his rivals. Harry Fry's novice can defy an 8lb higher mark as No Planning has rather gone off the boil and Shotavodka tries a new trip having disappointed when favourite last time. Niceonefrankie and Our Mick are well treated but remains out of sorts.
AYAAR has changed yards since winning a similar class race at Newmarket in September. Now racing for Al Shaqab, Luca Cumani's new inmate may well be up to landing this on his reappearance. Glen Moss also debut's for a new stable having won twice last term for Charlie Hills. But he looks high enough in the weights at present while four-time Polytrack winner Upavon has yet to prove as effective at this level. Rocksilla returns off an 8lb higher mark after winning three times over 6f last year and previous course winners Brave Echo, Georgian Bay and Bluegrass Blues have done all their winning so far in lower grades.
There is decent prize money on offer today and it's attracted some big fields. This is a tricky one to unravel with progressive novices coming up against seasoned handicappers. Bourne is interesting on his third in a Grade 2 at Ascot in January. Keel Haul and Generous Ransom are both chasing hat-tricks while Getabuzz has won three of his last four but faces a stiff task under top weight. Hold Court was raised a massive 12lb for winning narrowly at Ludlow but Brian Ellison's trio - Ultimate, All That Remains and Ben Cee Pee M - would have each-way claims on their best form and No No Mac should reverse Sandown running in December with Lord Protector having won twice since. HEATH HUNTER started favourite for a competitive handicap at Ascot in February but couldn't quicken having travelled strongly into the straight. He's relatively unexposed and can recoup losses here as Mojolika has climbed the weights despite not winning.
A couple of these fillies are clear on official ratings. That includes ZURIGHA who won on her reappearance last term and signed off with a Listed victory at Newmarket. Falls Of Lora was one of her victims on that occasion and a line through the latter gives the Hannon filly the beating of Zibelina. The Godolphin charge wasn't beaten far in Group 3 company at Sandown in August and had earlier won in the same grade at Deauville. The remainder will need a big improvement to figure on today's terms though Ribbons was unbeaten until taking on Listed opposition at Yarmouth. Auction also showed good progress early last year but was no match for Zibelina at Ascot in July.
Nigel Twiston-Davies runs three in this off the same mark with jockey bookings suggesting Huntingdon scorer Hollow Blue Sky is the pick. Bincombe followed up his Newbury success over 2m4f here last month but has gone up a further 7lb since. Special Account was probably a lucky winner at Newton Abbot but has been left on the same mark and Forest Walker is better than he showed at Ludlow last time. Vif Argent is inconsistent but Cloudy Bob rarely runs a bad race, though is closely matched with Lost Legend on Kempton running. The pair should again beat Elenika however. King Massini fell at an early stage at Cheltenham but is probably high enough in the weights now. MIDNIGHT SAIL was a very easy winner under a big weight at Sandown six weeks ago and has only had two runs this season. He may be fresher than most and can follow up in this higher grade.
A decent handicap but surprisingly difficult to make a strong case for any. Circumvent disappointed at Newbury last week and seems to save his best for Lingfield nowadays and Loving Spirit hasn't won since 2010 though not from lack of trying. Santefisio is also enduring a long losing run and Sea Shanty has struggled off similar marks since winning at Sandown last May. Life And Times was tailed off last time having landed a double at Wolverhampton before that while Tigers Tale and Big Whiskey are upped in class. Something went amiss with FRASERS HILL in soft ground at Hamilton nearly a year ago but he'd gone close to catching the useful Queensberry Rules over track and trip earlier. He gets a speculative vote on his reappearance.
Philip Hobbs had several entries in this at the four-day stage but relies on WOODFORD COUNTY. The seven-year-old looks certain to be suited by this step up in distance as he outstayed his rivals over 3m in the mud at Chepstow two runs ago before getting outpaced on quicker ground at Exeter. He can get the better of Kelso scorer Fentara in receipt of 8lb. Blenheim Brook is tumbling down the weights but has yet to show much improvement for it while Kilcrea Isle tries this trip for the first time at the age of 13. Bennys Well's stamina is proven but he's gone up 39lb in the weights over the course of the season. Red Rocco hasn't won since 2012 and is a risky proposition nowadays.