Wetherby Racecourse hit the sporting headlines last week. An investigation by the sports ruling body, the British Horseracing Authority, concluded that some races have been run over the incorrect distances for the last five years. But as part of the blame was attributed to the BHA then no sanctions were taken against the racecourse.
Wetherby races again next Wednesday (26) with a seven-race programme starting at 12.15pm.
The best action this weekend is over the Pennines at Haydock where it is Betfair Chase day. This is the most valuable race staged so far this year and always attracts some top chasers. Cue Card won last year from Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti and all three look set for a rematch on Saturday. Silviniaco Conti was making his seasonal debut in 2013 but has the benefit of an outing this year so he is my idea of the winner.
Paul Nicholl’s horses are just hitting form now and I expect Silviniaco Conti to run much better than he did in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, with the winner that day, Menorah, seen as his biggest danger.
Another trainer whose horses have been slow to come to hand is Malton’s Malcolm Jefferson. He could run two at Haydock in Sun Cloud and Secrete Stream. Sun Cloud needs a marathon trip to be effective and he certainly gets that at Haydock. Secrete Stream was very impressive when winning at a recent Wetherby meeting and he looks progressive. The Fixed Brush hurdle has been targeted by Martin Pipe over the last few years and his Vieux Lion Rouge could be the answer. Should he win you can always celebrate with a pint in the ‘Old Red Lion’!
That bloke Nicholls could be the man to follow at Ascot where Al Ferof attempts to win the Amlin Chase for the second year running.