The Weekends Racing – by The Sportsman Racing

Second favourite is Jim Bolger’s Trading Leather at 11-4. Bolger knows the time of day when it comes to landing these big races with juveniles and his candidate is a resolute performer who battled well to bag the recent Autumn Stakes at Newmarket. Preference however is for a horse who has proven form in the book in the shape of Mark Johnston’s feisty juvenile Steeler. The one thing guaranteed from this game battler is a run for your money. The son of Raven’s Pass has been consistency personified winning three of his last four outings and improving with every run. Steeler relished the step up to 1m when landing the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket in his last race and provided the ground isn’t too testing then that form suggests he has the caliber to win at odds of 9-2 with Paddy Power, Betvictor, Betfred and Boylesports. Van Der Neer looks a likely type from the astute Richard Hannon yard having been supplemented for the race. The colt has only won a minor event at Leicester but shaped with the promise of plenty more to come. The jumps season is beginning to take shape as we get set for November and the Old Roan Chase at Aintree is the big one over the sticks this weekend. Pacha Du Holder is a horse on an upward curve having joined the Paul Nicholls yard last autumn. Having impressed as a hurdler in France the “Master of Ditcheat” soon led his charge over the bigger obstacles and was duly rewarded with Pacha Du Holder winning with substance on his chase debut at Sandown. That was followed with a smooth success at Warick before the tall gelding demolished a Grade 2 field by fourteen lengths in the Future Champions Novice Chase at Ayr. A 9lb rise in the weights for that facile success may not be enough to stop him on Saturday. For Non Stop is a dangerous foe having secured a Grade 1 at Newbury before finishing third in the Jewson Novices Chase at the Cheltenham festival. Wishfull Thinking would also be a contender if having recovered old form. Phillip Hobbs’ nine-year old enjoyed a first great season over fences but disappointed last term when failing to win any races having suffered breathing problems. In the 5.10 Maiden Hurdle at Aintree a new recruit to the National Hunt is Tominator. Having finished an excellent third in the Ceasrewitch, Tominator has been subject of strong schooling reports over the jumps from Jonjo O’Neills Jackdaws Castle and is capable of winning on his hurdling debut.]]>