Race Time: 3.10pm Meeting: Haydock Distance: 3m
Full Race Name: 888Sport.com Handicap Chase (Class 2)
Our tip for the 3.10pm Haydock live on Channel 4 Racing is:
Another interesting handicap, though over three miles this time, and again, if Paul Nichols sends one here I suspect we should all take the hint. Virak is still only a six year old and a class act to boot, and having missed Cheltenham, he would arrive here relatively fresh, which can only be a positive. His novice form behind Coneygree now looks a lot better after the winner took the Gold Cup, even if he was galloped in to the ground, and if his trainer thinks he is up to this standard then we ought to sit up and take note – though why they would want to send a novice here off a rating of 144 is another question. Maybe it’s the Aintree air and the fact the Grand National is sneaking up on us once again, but Donald McCain, (son of Ginger of Red Rum fame) has another interesting contender here in the long absent Sydney Paget, a class act as a novice who was last seen when pulled up at Kelso last March. It seems safe to assume something went wrong that day and not take the form at face value, in which case at his best he would be pretty well weighted off a rating of 136 this afternoon, having won off 135 when fully fit of course.
Those who like their horses with “character” will take an interest in the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Algernon Pazham who won on his chasing debut at Leicester, ran a good race when second to Oscar Fortune here at Haydock, and then blotted his copybook big time when refusing at the last at Uttoxeter when well beaten. At his best he clearly has some talent as well as his obvious rebellious streak, and whoever backs him here does need to factor his possible waywardness in to the price if looking for some value?
Knock A Hand isn’t past it just yet at the age of ten and proved he still has decent races in him when scoring at Carlisle when making all the running but may find himself a little outclassed here, but we can certainly see Pantxoa running a big race for the in form Alan King stable. An all out win at Wincanton was followed by a pulled up at the same track in a much better race, but after time off to recover from those efforts (close to five months), he will arrive here fresh and ready to run for his life once again. To end with, Carrigdhoun has only had the one run since October 2013, and that was a winning one here over two and a half miles, but will he bounce or will he improve again for that run? We don’t really know the answer and won’t until after the race to be honest, but he is somehow improving again at the age of ten and could be the one to pull off a shock if there is one?