Alan King looks to have found a good opportunity for Ballywood to bag a good prize by way of the Bromfield Sand & Gravel Handicap Chase at Ludlow.
The five-year-old has not had that much racing since joining King from France, but has done little wrong.
He has bumped into one or two above-average performers along the way too, most notably Dynamite Dollars last time out at Doncaster. While he was ultimately no match for the Paul Nicholls-trained hotpot – who was a leading fancy for the Arkle until meeting with a setback – he showed up well until the favourite asserted. Interestingly, his first try over fences for King had resulted in victory over another Nicholls runner in Capeland, who was thought good enough to be supplemented for the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
The talk after Doncaster had been of a potential trip to Cheltenham and the Grand Annual for Ballywood, but the decision not to go to the Festival promises to be rewarded.
Dan Skelton continues to rattle in the winners, and Gortroe Joe can add to his tally in the Alfa Aggregate Products Chase.
He has had mixed fortunes since going chasing, showing promise first time out at Ascot, before falling here in January. The seven-year-old made no mistake next time out, though, returning to the Shropshire track to get his head in front – albeit in a race that did fall apart a bit.
With that experience under his belt, there should be more to come.
Hes No Trouble has a leading chance in the Windsor Clive International Novices’ Hurdle. The Kim Bailey-trained six-year-old made a respectable debut in a hot race won by Birchdale at Warwick in December, and confirmed himself useful when making no mistake next time out at Huntingdon.
Making all, he jumped well – and while a mistake from the favourite at the last helped matters, it was undoubtedly another step in the right direction.
Ballotin is very hard to oppose in the Eric Roper 90th Celebration Open Hunters’ Chase, while Weapons Out is the pick in the G C Rickards Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Keith Dalgleish has a couple of good chances at Sedgefield, led by I’m To Blame in the MansionBet Your Favourite Place To Bet Handicap Hurdle.
How far the Paul and Clare Rooney-owned six-year-old can go will only be known when he tests the waters further south at some stage, but as yet he has met with defeat just once and is on the up.
Tetraites Style is another for Dalgleish in the God Bless Noreen Surtees Novices’ Handicap Chase.
A mistake three out scuppered his chance at Musselburgh, but that was his first run off a break – so there are plenty of reasons to think he will be involved.
At Chepstow, Deise Aba makes plenty of appeal in the Faucets & Rada Are The Washroom Specialists Novices’ Hurdle.
Philip Hobbs’ charge won his maiden here in November, but was absent after that until reappearing at Ascot in February when he was a beaten favourite.
The suspicion is he is a good deal better than he showed with that fairly tame effort.
TURF TALK TIPS
CHEPSTOW: 2.20 Dragon Khan, 2.50 Episode, 3.25 Deise Aba, 4.00 Angels Antics, 4.35 Treasure Dillon, 5.05 Just Gone Midnight, 5.40 Double Ross.
LUDLOW: 2.30 Falco Blitz, 3.00 Gortroe Joe, 3.35 Hes No Trouble (next best), 4.10 BALLYWOOD (NAP), 4.45 Landsman, 5.15 Ballotin, 5.50 Weapons Out (treble).
SEDGEFIELD: 2.05 Calliope, 2.40 Robbing The Prey, 3.10 Tetraites Style, 3.45 I’m To Blame, 4.20 Enfin Phil, 4.55 Top Man Tim, 5.25 Late Date.