A busy Saturday with some excellent racing at Sandown, Lingfield and over in Ireland with the Dublin Racing Festival kicking off.
J: Thomas Bellamy
T: Miss E C Lavelle
The Emma Lavelle stable had a welcomed winner on Monday and they could be back in the winners enclosure at Sandown this afternoon in the shape of Red Rookie. The lightly raced 8 year old has only had 10 career starts, however he finished last season running in the grade 1 Arkle Chase at Cheltenham, where he travelled well for a long way before falling when looking beaten. That run suggested he might be ahead of his current mark of 138 and he looked in need of the run when 5th of 12 at Chepstow over Christmas. With the stable in better form now, we can expect to see an improved performance from the son of Black Sam Bellamy. In an open looking race, Red Rookie rates a 2 star win Pick.
J: J C Gainford
T: G Elliott
The 14:20 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase looks like a mouthwatering grade 1 clash, particularly given the fact unbeaten Irish raider Gerri Colombe makes the journey to Esher. He has looked a class act back in Ireland, after winning 2 bumpers and 2 novice hurdles connections wasted no time in sending him over fences. He oozed class when winning on his chase debut at Fairyhouse, albeit the form has taken some knocks since, however there was much to like about his latest win in the grade 1 Faugheen Chase at Limerick over Christmas. He was strong at the finish that day, when seeing off a trio of Willie Mullins trained runners. Gerri Colombe is taken to come out on top in what is the first firing shot between the English and Irish novices in the build to the battle ground of Cheltenham in March. He rates a 2 star win Pick.
J: R L Moore
T: W J Knight
There aren’t many more popular horses in training than Sir Busker and the evergreen 7 year old can add to his tally of 6 wins at Lingfield this afternoon. He was last seen running in the group 1 Juddmonte Internatonal where he was 3rd behind the now 135 rated Baeed and 121 rated Mishriff. There is nothing of that talent in today’s line up and Sir Busker should enjoy the drop down to listed level. The drop in trip to 1m around a tight track like Lingfield might not be ideal, however there should be a good pace on with Lord Of The Lodge in the field, and top jockey Ryan Moore should be able to switch Sir Busker off before producing him with a telling late burst. William Knight has had 2 winners from his last 4 recent runners, so it all bodes well for a big run. Sir Busker rates a 2 star win Pick.