Our pundit Dave Nevison can’t wait for top-class Saturday of action live on Racing TV. Enjoy day one of the Dublin Racing Festival from Leopardstown, the opening card of bet365 Festival Trials weekend at Musselburgh, good fixtures from Sandown and Wetherby and all-weather action from Kempton. Enjoy dedicated coverage via Racing TV Extra.
It’s a terrific weekend of racing in Ireland and I look forward to seeing what our columnists put up for Leopardstown. However, there is certainly good support stuff in the UK and I will be in the Racing TV studio – the best seat to watch it all.
1.15 Sandown: Gunsight Ridge
Not too many in this field have the same upside as him.
I am sticking with Gunsight Ridge, a useful young horse who has gone off favorite many times and not always delivered. He had a clear chance last time but didn’t go off as favorite as punters might have given up on him, yet he won very convincingly from the reopposing Bun Doran. I feel the younger legs and potential of Gunsight Ridge will see that horse off again over the same course and distance.
Trainer Olly Murphy has always rated Gunsight Ridge and apparently couldn’t believe it when he was beaten on his penultimate start. Given the winner of that race was L’Homme Presse (subsequent Grade Two winner now rated 28lb higher) that now seems a bit more understandable!
2.55 Sanddown: Beauport
Beauport looks ready for this step-up in trip and he will improve for this extra distance, so running here looks a timely move.
He won the EBF Final here last spring by 11 lengths and that race always proves a key pointer for the future, while he has run well for second on both starts this season – staying on really well at Newbury last time to get beaten just a half length at the line.
A big and highly-competitive field is demonstrably no issue for him and he gets on very well with Jordan Nailor, who once again claims 3lbs.
3.10 Musselburgh: SmartLass
She looks to have a good chance to break her maiden over hurdles.
Smart Lass has run two good races at Musselburgh on her last two starts and has been dropped 1lb for finishing a close third in a similar race at this last time. Jockey Alan Doyle did well in that conditionals’ event, but he now gets the chance to claim his full 7lbs here.
Smart Lass has a running style that suits this track and she is a pretty straightforward ride. She looks set to run well again in a race that perhaps is not of the usual Saturday standard.
3.30 Sandown: Flour
He is stepped up in grade and distance here but he looks ready for both.
Farinet was backed off the boards last time to win here last month and his backers never had any concern, winning easily despite carrying a big weight. Before that, he had run very well on his return at Cheltenham in December despite being ultimately pulled up in a very competitive handicap.
Farinet may be fragile and was due to run last weekend, but Venetia Williams is obviously happy he is over what was wrong and I am definitely keeping him on my list of horses to be with for a while yet.
He certainly looks like a horse who will compete at a strong level going forward and I believe he may end up better than a handicapper.
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