The Weekends Racing – by The Sportsman Racing

Horses such as Nadiya De La Vega ridden by AP McCoy, Kingsmere, De Boitron, Tatenen and Golden Chieftain are all respected but Walkon gets the vote at 5-1 with Stan James. The following race at 3.05 is the International Hurdle where the betting revolves around the three big guns, Zarkandar, Rock On Ruby and Grandouet . Grandouet was an impressive winner of the corresponding race last term, shooting to the top of the Champion Hurdle market. Nicky Henderson’s charge subsequently contracted an internal joint infection which meant he missed his big target but he has summered well by all accounts. Grandouet travels like a dream and provided he is not ring rusty from his extended lay-off he possesses the speed to burn off his two main rivals. Rock On Ruby won the aforementioned Champion Hurdle and has triumphed first time out in the last two seasons with trainer Harry Fry reporting him in excellent shape for his comeback. Rock On Ruby bypassed his intended return in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle because of heavy ground at Newcasle although the ground is not expected to be worse than soft on Saturday. Zarkandar is a live contender for the Champion Hurdle and will be right in the mix come Saturday. What Paul Nicholls’ horse lacks in speed is countered by his tenacity when responding to pressure. In conclusion this is race is a difficult conundrum to solve but a chance is taken on Grandouet being fit enough as the outsider of the three main players to land odds of 5-2. Two horses at Navan on the sabbath for you to follow are Don Cossack and Champagne James. Don Cossack is vying for Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle favouritism with Champagne Fever, and is poised to have his second outing over hurdles in the 2m4f Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle at 12.50. The step up in trip and the testing ground will be ideal for the Gigginstown gelding with the dogged attitude. Ultimately, Don Cossack may prove to be the best horse Grand National winning trainer Elliott has ever handled. That brings me neatly to Ted Walsh’s Champagne James who must also be followed in the Grade 2 Irish Form Book Future Champions Bumper. Never out of his comfort zone when making a winning bumper debut at the same course last month Champagne James can get the bubbly flowing again.]]>