Through The Card: Haydock, Saturday November 25
Timeform take you through the card at Haydock on Saturday.
"He may have fallen at Wetherby last time, but his jumping has usually been much better on this flatter track and he is fancied to emulate Kauto Star and win a fourth Betfair Chase."
12:10 - Plenty of promising ones here, with DYNAMITE DOLLARS (2) taken to maintain his unbeaten record over hurdles having impressed in similar conditions at Exeter three weeks ago. The Paul Nicholls-trained four-year-old was an 11-length winner last time and he looks the type to improve further. Whatmore is also seeking a hat-trick having looked much improved the last twice and is hard to rule out, however preference for a second string is for MIDNIGHT SHADOW (4). He won well at Uttoxeter last time, acts well on testing ground, and should be suited by what could become a stern examination of stamina.
12:40 - COURTOWN OSCAR's (5) reappearance victory at Carlisle represented a career-best and, still relatively lightly-raced for an eight-year-old, there may well be more to come from Philip Kirby's charge. A 5 lb rise is tolerable and he is taken to follow up with testing conditions again in his favour. The strong stayer Russe Blanc shaped well on his return to action at the aforementioned track and is feared most ahead of the potentially well-handicapped Royale Knight.
13:15 - BIG RIVER (6) won twice on testing ground over hurdles last season and the seven-year-old made a pleasing chase debut when winning at Kelso on his return. He's open to further improvement as a chaser and gets the vote in what looks a hot race. None of his rivals can be dismissed, with BORN SURVIVOR (4) and Clan des Obeaux perhaps the pick of them. The former is preferred for placepot purposes, having made a fine impression on his chasing debut at Wetherby last time. He acts well on very testing ground so should have conditions to suit here.
13:50 - An open heat with only 8 lb covering the field on weight-adjusted ratings. CLYNE (1) has a terrific record at this venue and looks sure to go well again despite top weight - he has optimum conditions and an excellent-value 5-lb conditional in the saddle. This looks a tough race, though, with the likes of El Terremoto and Value At Risk also considered, however VERNI (4) gets the nod. He has a good record fresh, acts on any ground, and represents a stable in good form.
14:25 - A cracking renewal of this valuable staying handicap, with three members of Timeform's Fifty To Follow for the season taking part. SAM SPINNER (11) made a highly encouraging return to action when second in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow (form worked out really well) and looks sure to go close with further progress on the cards. There are plenty of potential dangers, headed by The Worlds End, Champers On Ice and Minella Awards. Proven mudlark NO HASSLE HOFF (8) is joined by Three Musketeers in what looks a strong team for Dan Skelton, and he looks sure to run well, having won with a bit more in hand at Uttoxeter than the winning margin of a length and a quarter suggests.
15:00 - The evergreen CUE CARD (2) won this race in 2013 and 2015, and produced another top-class effort to complete the hat-trick 12 months ago. Things haven't gone to plan since taking the Betfair Ascot Chase in February but he still holds obvious claims of winning this for a fourth time. He may have fallen at Wetherby last time, but his jumping has usually been much better on this flatter track and he is fancied to emulate Kauto Star and win a fourth Betfair Chase. Market leader Bristol De Mai, who won the Charlie Hall last time, is the clear main threat with trip/track/ground looking ideal and he looks capable of making up into a genuine Grade 1 horse this term. Outlander bounced back to his very best when winning the JNwine.com Champion Chase last time, and looks a bigger threat than Aintree Bowl winner Tea For Two.
15:35 - The Richard Newland-trained CATAMARAN DU SEUIL might not have won had the second not been inconvenienced at Ayr a fortnight ago, but he still showed a good attitude to edge ahead close home and remains low-mileage. He could well follow up with conditions in his favour again. Robinsfirth and Henri Parry Morgan are a couple of others to consider.
Win back Cue Card in the 15:00 at Haydock
12:10 - 2, 4
12:40 - 5
13:15 - 4, 6
13:50 - 1, 4
14:25 - 8, 11
15:00 - 2