Rory Delargy finds himself spoilt for choice on an action-packed Easter Saturday...
"Jumping and track position will be crucial in today's big field, and Noble Legend looks better equipped than most to face those challenges, his ability to sit just behind the pace arguably the perfect style for such a race, and the 2¾m trip looks absolutely spot on..."
It's an incredibly busy day for racing, not only as the Easter period traditionally features wall-to-wall action, but we also have the exotic attraction of the Dubai World Cup fixture at Meydan, and the rearranged Lincoln card at Doncaster.
Most of today's cards are tremendously competitive, but it's worth finding one of the more one-sided races for the bet of the day. That race is the 15:10 at Carlisle, a claiming hurdle in which Dontpaytheferryman looks head and shoulders above his rivals. Brian Ellison's charge does need to bounce back from a poor run in a similar affair at Southwell last time, but it's a lot easier to forgive that effort in hindsight. The son of Wiseman's Ferry has shown his best form when dominating, but seemed to down tools when unable to lead there. His best form has come at right-handed tracks, and away from testing ground, and the switch to Carlisle will suit today, as will the drying conditions.
Main rival on paper is the Donald McCain runner Nowurhurlin, who has a good record at the Cumbrian venue, but his form has come over further and on much deeper ground than he'll face today. He'd also be almost a stone better off if this was a handicap, and on top of all that, has been known to take little interest in his races. It seems likely that he'll soon be seeing a distant view of the selection's backside, and I can't see him pulling back that deficit despite his undoubted stamina. In my view Ajman is much more likely to chase Dontpaytheferryman home, but his tendency to hit the deck is enough to stop me banking on the exacta.
Haydock has put on a tremendously competitive card, and deserve credit for the strength of fields on show. Most races look nigh-on impossible to solve, but one who does catch the eye is Caroline Bailey's Noble Legend in the Jockey Club Grassroots Chase Series Final at 15:50. I'm a huge fan of Bailey's approach as I've mentioned before, and Noble Legend is a typical graduate of the Holdenby North Lodge academy, a brave, bold jumping chaser who thrives on racing. He has won 4 of his 7 starts over fences in the last year, and improved from humble beginnings to steadily climb the handicap ranks.
Noble Legend has shown no sign that his progress is at an end, and proved that he was more than a mudlark with a career-best effort to score at Southwell last time, and that form has been franked by the third and fourth since. Jumping and track position will be crucial in today's big field, and Noble Legend looks better equipped than most to face those challenges, his ability to sit just behind the pace arguably the perfect style for such a race, and the 2¾m trip looks absolutely spot on for him at this stage.
Timeform Radio Tips:
Back Dontpaytheferryman in the 15:10 Carlisle @ 2.568/5 (NAP)
Back Noble Legend in the 15:50 Haydock @ 10.09/1 (NB)