There is a busy weekend’s racing ahead, despite the threat of some frost. Jumps fans will be keeping fingers crossed the freeze doesn’t take over. Here are some selections from Haydock and Ascot’s big cards on Saturday.
Once trained by Alan King, Vendor has tested the patience of trainer Sue Smith but there are encouraging signs that she may reap the rewards soon.
Having gone close at Wetherby as a novice over fences in late 2016, Vendor spent more than 700 days on the easy list thereafter. He took a couple of runs to get going before a decent run here just before Christmas over a similar trip to this one.
Turned out again over 2m3f at Wetherby on Boxing Day, the run might have come too quickly just four days on.
He’s been eased another 4lb by the assessor, drops in in trip and represents a stable boasting three winners from six runners recently. Vendor looks to be on a workable mark and should go well.
This olbg.com Mares’ Hurdle went the way of the talented La Bague Au Roi last year and this time around it could be the doyen of Jessica Harrington’s yard, Magic Of Light.
The Irish trainer made a successful raid last month to Newbury where her mare ran out an easy winner of a Listed race over fences. That was a career-best performance and Magic Of Light is rated much lower now turning her attention to hurdles once again.
If she runs anywhere close to that level of form, then Robbie Power‘s mount is going to take some stopping here.
Gary Moore’s Benatar has had some tough assignments on his plate this season and might be up to landing a blow here.
He travelled well for a long way over three miles here just before Christmas and, having been keen early in the race, appeared to run out of steam late on at that extended trip, eventually giving up second spot late on.
That was in Listed company and, eased in grade, the previous C&D scorer looks ideally suited to this examination and can get back to winning ways.
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