UK racing this weekend

Just the one winner last week but The New One did put up a brave attempt from top weight in the Greatwood Hurdle and I am pretty sure that Nigel Twiston-Davies and his team will be sitting down pondering whether to try to give weight away in handicaps this season or look for place money in the bigger level weight contests.

He has been a brilliant servant but his chance of a Champion Hurdle looks to be gone now though fences still remain an option where he can start off with easy pickings in novice company – assuming he can jump a fence that is.

It has been more about the politics than the horses this week as far as news flashes are concerned with the BHA announcing new rules that will enforce the declaration of wind operations which once again has polarised the industry.

Although I talk from a position of ignorance, my limited understanding is that trainers are wary of what does and what doesn’t constitute a wind operation, or that is what they have told me in the past, and I have also been told that it is a storm in a teacup with regard to the instant ten length improvement some punters seem to feel ensues. But us racegoers and fans can feel ignored by the powers that be on occasion and at least something has been done to placate the masses.

Next up I am hoping they look in to each way betting with the current non-runner rules unfair in my eyes. If I work out a horse at a price that can finish third in an eight-horse race and then back it each way and end up proven right why do I lose my money if there is a late non-runner. In my eyes I should bet the place part back at the very least as my calculations proved accurate for once and yet I still end up on a “loser”.

Enough waffle and on to the racing on Saturday and we have top class action all the way from both Ascot and Haydock where I am particularly looking forward to the Betfair Chase at 3.00pm where my mate Nigel Twiston-Davies runs Bristol De Mai.

A giant of a chaser he is an absolute joy to watch when he gets in to his rhythm as he showed at Wetherby when taking the Charlie Hall Chase on his return. But as this was always his early season target I suspect they will have left a little to work on, which makes his win all the more merit worthy and good field as this is, I am hoping he can double up on Saturday afternoon.

At Ascot one horse will do for me, I like to think of it as selective losing, my new catch phrase. I cannot resist a little each way on Neil Mulholland’s Whatsthatallabout in the Mares’ handicap hurdle at 1.30pm.

She won her last three in a row as a novice last season and was rated 123 when winning by twelve lengths at Bangor when last seen in September 2016 yet gets in here of four pound lower somehow. Although this is tougher and she has not been seen in over a year, she does look well handicapped and an improving sort well worth a look this afternoon with the excellent Niall Madden in the saddle for the first time.

Sean’s Suggestions:

Bristol De Mail 3.00pm Haydock Saturday

Whatsthatallabout each-way 1.30pm Ascot