Man On The Spot: Magic Trick
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's six events live on Channel 4 Racing, including the Tommy Whittle at Haydock.
Trickaway is fancied to win the Tommy Whittle
Ultragold has been raised 4lb for last month's win at Newbury and has never won off a mark this high and might struggle to confirm running with Raven's Tower. Andy Kelly is talented but is usually let down by his jumping. Orbasa ran a shocker on his reappearance at Aintree and In The Rough disappointed at Newbury but Overtown Express gradually warmed to his task on his fencing bow at Plumpton and there should be more to come, especially when the ground turns soft. DARK FLAME (NAP) forged clear of More Buck's on his first run over fences at Sandown. That was the latter's only defeat in four runs this term and Richard Rowe's charge looks a nice prospect. Dusky Lark should strip fitter for his second at Kempton and looks the pick of the remainder.
Unowhatimeanharry's upward trajectory showed no sign of easing when he routed his rivals in the Long Distance Hurdle. It's hard to see either Ballyoptic or Reve De Sivola reversing that form, though the latter has won this three times and was second to Thistlecrack last year so a better effort is expected. Lil Rockerfeller is as game as a pebble but 3m on soft ground may be too far. Un Temps Pour Tout is probably better over fences nowadays while Zarkandar has become disappointing. ALEX DE LARREDYA has his first run outside of France but is a top-class stayer who comfortably reversed earlier running with Ptit Zig on bottomless ground at Auteuil last month. He'll relish conditions and can emulate the great Baracouda by taking this prize back across the Channel.
Yala Enki has his first run over fences in this country but won twice in France and is still only a six-year-old. So is Vieux Lille, who makes his handicap debut on a decent mark. Old-timer Carrigdhoun has been in good form but the handicapper may not have yet reeled in TRICKAWAY, who made a winning start for Malcolm Jefferson at Kelso despite running around in the closing stages – he was value for more than the winning margin. Corrin Wood reverts to chasing after a couple of decent runs over hurdles while Aintree second Baileys Concerto is tried in blinkers. Aerlite Supreme has the past form to figure but hasn't won a race in more than two years.
After a long absence, Eduard ran a cracker behind Royal Regatta at Newbury but steps into unknown territory over this longer trip. A runner-up over 2m5f here last month, Go Conquer will also have his stamina to prove but Minella Daddy won over this course and distance after scoring at Ffos Las and should make a bold bid to complete the hat-trick. Le Mercurey should appreciate this slight drop in class after placed efforts at Down Royal and Aintree and he's preferred to stablemate Irish Saint but Fletchers Flyer is interesting, despite having his first run of the campaign, as he won a tough handicap at the Punchestown Festival in April. THE DRUIDS NEPHEW also makes his reappearance but he's been dropped 5lb since finishing fifth in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in the spring. He's only a couple of pounds higher than for his last win and has gone well fresh in the past so gets the nod.
A pretty competitive finale with more than half the field winning last time out. Clyne is on a real roll but will have to defy a further 8lb rise if he's to complete the four-timer. The hat-trick seeking El Terremoto has been raised 6lb since last month's course and distance victory and Super Sam steps up in grade again with another 7lb after scoring at Leicester. DRAYTONIAN looked as though he'd benefit from his third at Ascot and he won on soft going at Warwick in the spring. He gets a tentative vote, though Le Rocher wasn't far behind at Ascot and the three-year-old Great Tempo has improved with experience.
A high-class renewal of this Grade 3 handicap with its wide-open nature expected to be reflected in the betting. Nicky Henderson runs three with Brain Power and Consul De Thaix finishing 1-2 in a Listed handicap at Sandown at the start of the month and preferred to Hargam. Tony Martin also has a trio of runners with Golden Spear particularly interesting at the foot of the weights. Stablemates Pyromaniac and Quick Jack finished practically upsides in the Galway Hurdle in July and Ireland is also represented by Noel Meade's Fairyhouse winner Waxies Dargle. Sternrubin dead-heated with the returning Jolly's Cracked It, who has been well backed again, in this last year and won here in October. But he was then behind runner-up Modus in the Greatwood at Cheltenham. WHO DARES WINS was hugely impressive when reverting to 2m at Newbury and the likely strong pace here will play to his strengths. He's been raised 9lb but could be up to the task. Meet The Legend will be ready after a lay-off and also warrants a mention.
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