Weekend Preview: Kempton & Fairyhouse the Easter highlights
Kempton will host the Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes on Saturday
"Sooraah currently heads the Timeform ratings for the listed contest..."
Timeform look ahead to the weekend's action in the UK and Ireland, with Flat racing from Kempton the highlight on Saturday and the Irish Grand National meeting getting underway at Fairyhouse on Sunday...
Kempton is the venue for the best Flat Racing on Saturday and the highlight on their card is the Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes, taking place over a mile. Sooraah currently heads the Timeform ratings for the listed contest and, having already had a run this season, should not lack for race fitness. Law of the Range makes her seasonal reappearance after a progressive 2011, whilst others worthy of mention include Night Lily and Raasekha, the latter having just her third racecourse start.
A fascinating one mile handicap due off at 14:05 also takes place on the Kempton card with the likes of Double Dealer, Maverick and Robemaker all currently entered. Robemaker looks the most interesting at this stage, having been well supported for last weekend's Spring Mile only to be declared a non-runner at the very last moment.
A 0-105 two-mile handicap is the other feature of the afternoon at Kempton, with some useful types going to post in what looks a relatively strong affair. Montaff currently heads the weights for Mick Channon but his lack of recent form is a clear worry after two disappointing efforts out in Dubai. Thimaar was highly tried last season, having raced in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur behind Sea Moon at York back in August, and he should be capable of continuing the progressive thread having landed a handicap at Ascot last time.
A Conditions Stakes over a mile could also be of interest to racing fans with some strong yards represented in the contest. Mahmood Al Zarooni's Witnessed is arguably the one with most potential, having won his only start so far and he will be ridden by Frankie Dettori . Godolphin are also represented by Tactfully, who will be the mount of Mickael Barzalona , though the three-year-old disappointed on his only start outside of maiden company when finishing eighth in a Listed contest last time.
The other venue for Flat Racing in Britain on Saturday is Musselburgh, where there's a fascinating Class 2 Handicap over a mile. Switzerland currently heads the Timeform ratings for this contest having demonstrated progression on the all-weather this winter, taking a maiden at Lingfield and a handicap at Wolverhampton in two of his last three starts. However, he faces a strong challenge from Shabora and the progressive Bronze Angle, the latter relatively unexposed at the one mile trip.
A five furlong Conditions Stakes looks to be the best race on the remainder of the Musselburgh card with Borderlescott, Hamish Mcgonagall and Captain Dunne all set to go to post. Those three would not be out of place in higher company, with the former a winner at Group 1 level in the past.
Haydock is the venue for the strongest Jumps Racing on Saturday with Newton Abbot and Carlisle also hosting National Hunt Cards.
A Handicap Chase due off at 15:30 looks the strongest contest on the Haydock card with the Venetia Willaims trained Renard currently heading the weights. Renard has been steadily progressive this season and, whilst he does race off a career high mark, it wouldn't be a surprise if he were to go close yet again.
A Class 2 Handicap Chase over two miles and six furlongs looks to be the other feature race from the Merseyside venue with Safari Journey currently heading the weight-adjusted Timeform ratings. He will have to be at his very best to win in a field that also includes French Ties and Buffalo Bob, however.
Cork plays host to seven-race Flat card over in Ireland with some interesting maiden runners on display throughout the afternoon. The Cork Stakes due off at 14:50 is the highlight, however, with numerous high profile runners set to go to post for the listed event over six furlongs, including last time out winner Croisultan.
Towcester and Plumpton are the venues for National Hunt racing in Britain on Saturday with the latter hosting the stronger meeting of the two. A two mile handicap hurdle looks to be the best racing on offer from either venue with Megastar and Grafite currently holding entries in what will be Plumpton's 14:00.
Musselburgh is the venue for Flat Racing in Britain on Sunday with a card dominated by handicap contests due off at 14:20.
Cork host an eight-race National Hunt Card on Sunday with the Imperial Call Chase due off at 16:10 the undisputed highlight with the multiple Grade 1 winning Realth Dubh going to post, stepped up in trip to three miles for the first time in his career.
The Irish Grand National meeting gets underway at Fairyhouse on Sunday with a seven-race card taking place from the County Meath venue. The Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup is the highlight with Flemenstar and Rathlin going to post for the two and a half mile contest, with the former having looked a very strong novice this season. If at his best, Flemenstar is likely to prove very difficult to beat despite this being only his second try at the trip over fences.
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