5 Horses To Watch This Saturday
The jumps season is in full swing and we’ve picked out 5 horses to watch from this Saturday’s Channel 4 racing from Haydock and Ascot!
1. Vautour – 2.05pm Ascot
9 starts for Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci and 8 wins, including two at Cheltenham Festival. His demolition job of the JLT Novices’ Chase was his most impressive run yet but this Grade 2 looks just as tough with opposition including Third Intention, Ptit Zig and the possible long overdue appearance of the 2014 Betfair Ascot Chase winner Captain Chris. Will it be Faugheen Round 2 for the stable’s star chaser?
2. Silviniaco Conti – 3.00pm Haydock
Our reporter asked about Silviniaco Conti on Saturday in our interview with Paul Nicholls and the champion trainer seemed quietly confident that the rain wouldn’t be a problem as he “jumps and stays”. With all contenders carrying 6lb he’s a minimum of 5lb better off on official ratings but Cue Card looked in fierce form when winning the Charlie Hall, and Dynaste and Holywell (among others) will be looking to win this £20,000 guaranteed Class 1.
3. Josses Hill – 3.15pm Ascot
Winner of a Grade 2 Novice Hurdle, he’s been twice a beaten favourite switched to chasing in just four starts (including once at odds of 1/2) but Nicky Henderson seems determined he’ll be a better chaser than he was a hurdler so this is a big season for him. He carries top weight in the Class 2 Shawbrook handicap chase but 2 miles on Good to Soft with a fast pace should suit him and he’ll need to jump a lot better this season than last if he’s going to win any more big races.
4. Ucello Conti – 3.35pm Haydock
Simon Munir has brought some lovely horses over from France and Ucello Conti, half brother to Silviniaco Conti, is a very interesting one. He ran 21 times in France, winning two bumpers, three hurdles and three chases, included a Listed 3 year old chase and he placed in a Grade 3 4 year old chase. He’s been sent to Gordon Eliott and this would be his first run in a year but he could be anything off an opening mark of 135.
5. Fou Et Sage – 1.50pm Haydock
There’s also a French horse to finish; according to translate Fou Et Sage translates as Crazy and Wise, so hopefully he lives up to his name – if that is correct! He’s just 4 years old but placed in two Grade 3 hurdles at Auteuil in Spring before being bought through a “proposal that we can not refuse”, according to his old regular jockey Jacquez Ricou. He believes Fou Et Sage will take to British fences and we’re sure there’s plenty of scope for him to improve over, and the fixed brush hurdles should suit perfectly given his French form while the ground won’t be a problem either. It’s a very tough race but he could be one to watch this season back over hurdles with a line through his last chase run.
We can’t wait for this weekend’s racing! We have previews up of every race in our Channel 4 racing tips section and tips will be posted at 8pm on Friday for every race on Channel 4 on Saturday!