Golden Spear looks a worthy favourite

March 18th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

There will be time for a look back at Cheltenham at some other stage, though I can say it was not a successful meeting for me and the main disappointment concerned a dual bet on Shaneshill and Snow Falcon in the Stayers’ Hurdle. The latter was still on the bridle three out before finding little and I’d be inclined to stay with him at Aintree and/or Punchestown.

We were right about JP McManus winning the Champion Hurdle and there is no doubt Buveur D’Air was much better value in the ring than Yanworth.

The closest I came on the line to a good winner (leaving aside the good advice to leave Unowhatimeanharry strictly alone at such ludicrous adds and let Cue Card go as well, given the stamina worry – not that it came to that – was the small saver on Philip Hobbs’ Verni in the Martin Pipe. At 25/1 he would have paid the for the whole week but the winner was just too strong for him up the hill.

It’s always hard to get involved the day after the festival, though I feel quite strongly about Tony Martin’s GOLDEN SPEAR in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Kempton. He finished an excellent third last time in a very warm race and I just prefer him to Nicky Henderson’s Divine Spear, who also ran a cracking race last time but had Ned Curtis’ 5lb going for him whereas Nico de Boinville takes over here. Off a 3lb higher mark, Divine Spear has an 8lb harder task than might have been expected and Golden Spear may take advantage after sidestepping another attractive opportunity last week.

Briefly, things did not quite work out for Harry Fry at the festival but he has chances at Uttoxeter, where AMERICAN, who missed the RSA at Cheltenham may defy top weight in the novices’ handicap chase. The horse has very brittle legs but this will be a slightly easier assignment.

I have a modest record in the Midlands Grand National and shall not be reaching for the wallet with huge optimism but Fergal O’Brien’s horses have been in form all season and CHASE THE SPUD has each-way prospects off a very handy weight.

Ian Signature