Our columnist heads to Haydock for three rides on Saturday, although he has a Plan B should the cold snap intervene.
Daryl's Saturday rides
I’m hoping Haydock passes the precautionary inspection on Saturday as I have three nice rides on the card, although sadly Valtor misses the Peter Marsh Chase.
If it is off I'll head straight to Ascot to partner Ballymoy in Matchbook Holloway's Handicap Hurdle. He’s a fast-improving horse who has won two of his three starts this term. He’s thriving on his racing and the step up in trip here will be no problem. He'll run very well.
My first ride at Haydock is Le Breuil in the Patrick Coyne Memorial Altcar Novices' Chase. It’s a tight race but my fellow has done nothing wrong this season and is consistently running to his mark of 145. He might be able to find another pound or two and while Jerrysback is rated higher, he'll need to run to it to beat us.
The race Muratello ran in at this track last time was void but I got a very nice feel from him that day. I spoke with Anthony Bromley and we decided to give it a whirl in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle to see how he fares. If he gets beaten we can drop back to a novice under a penalty and it’s a fact-finding mission with him. We’ll know an awful lot more afterwards.
Dicosimo definitely has a chance in the Cheltenham Preview Here In March Handicap Chase. He ran well when third at Wincanton last time and if in the same form here would go close.
I can't end the column without a mention of Top Notch and his win at Kempton last week. He was fantastic and we were very proud of him. He never travelled until halfway down the back straight but once back on the bridle did it very well.
He has a great attitude and it was lovely to see him back in the winners’ enclosure. He’s been a really good horse for us, we’ve had him since he was three, and he’s won a couple of Grade Ones and picked up plenty of prize money. He isn’t finished yet either.