The Weekends Racing – by The Sportsman Racing

Veteran top-weight Tidal Bay has been attracting midweek support as Champion trainer Paul Nicholls goes in search of more Saturday high-profile success. Nicholls band of merry followers will have been grinning like Cheshire cats when Nicholls boldly declared “The weight doesn’t worry me. He wants testing ground as they go slow and he can pass horses quietly and can pick the bridle up, I think he has a great chance”. The Package conjured his best form when winning the Badger Ales Trophy in taking style at Wincanton earlier in the month. David Pipe’s star jumped imposingly and easily dispatched of Michael Le Bon on the run in. An 8lb rise has been awarded by the handicapper for that success but that still leaves The Package on a fighting racing weight. A clutch of horses hold chances in a race which will be a war of attrition over a three-and-quarter miles on heavy ground with First Lieutenant, Duke Of Lucca, Magnanimity, Alfie Spinner, Hold On Julio and Fruity O Rooney all in contention. From that pack I like Fruity O Rooney each-way at 25-1. Gary Moore’s horse is only a small fellow but what he lacks in stature he makes up for in heart. A bold jumping front-runner the soft ground will be right up his cul-de sac and a test of stamina holds no fears having finished fifth of twenty-four runners in the Scottish National in April. The jumps at Perth At Newcastle, Cinders And Ashes was a torch bearer for trainer Donald McCain last season. McCain had a second successive third placing in the jumps trainer’s championship and a fifty per-cent increase in the number of winners. Cinders And Ashes can help maintain McCains’ status by winning the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth and making it a hat-trick for the trainer in this race following the successes of Peddlers Cross in 2010 and Overturn in 2011. The testing conditions won’t concern this five-year old as he rattled up a hat-trick on heavy going last winter. Hailing from a top Flat family, Cinders And Ashes showed a turn of foot to win a far from vintage renewal of the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham though he will need to cut out jumping mistakes to become a Champion Hurdle contender. This assignment on Saturday won’t be as tough with the race suffering from the withdrawals of Rock On Ruby and Darlan on account of the extreme weather. Those defections leave only four runners and although Counrtywide Flame, Trifolium and Bothy are respected , Cinders And Ashes has a few lbs in hand of his nearest rival Countrywide Flame.]]>