Saturday selections

oscaraTODAY’S racing is a bit like after the Lord Mayor’s show. No Sprinter Sacre. No Imperial Commander. No Hunt Ball. But Ffos Las does offer the Welsh Champion Hurdle and there is a decent all-chase card at Sandown. In the Welsh Champion, Oscara Dara, pictured left, looks to have a stiff task at the weights on the bad ground, and looks vulnerable to a clutch of progressive young horses, notably the well-backed Pricewise selection Tanerko Emery. But MEDINAS is due a change of luck and conditions will suit. His stablemate Balder Succes is also interesting but is worth a watching brief after his poor run last time.

Local trainer Rebecca Curtis saddles nine runners at the Welsh track. Of most interest to me is CHEAT THE CHEATER in the 4.20, who is a scopey individual who is a fair bit better than his form figures may appear.

David Pipe couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for French recruit UNIQUE DE COTTE in his Racing Post Stable Tour last autumn and he looks interesting in the opener. But, tellingly, AP McCoy prefers JP McManus’s MISTER W K. A race to watch with notebook in hand, methinks.

Four years ago I remember SHALONE running Diamond Harry to a short head in a valuable Newbury bumper when trained by Alan King. He looked a future star then but never quite fulfilled his potential. Now with Adrian Wintle, he ran an eyecatching race at Haydock in desperate ground on his return to the track in December. He has top weight to carry today in the competitive 3.45, but he obviously retains some ability. He may need the run again today but is one to keep an eye on. Preference today is for KAYLIF ARAMIS who travelled like a winner at Ascot until running out of steam. The drop back in trip will suit.

At Wetherby SHAMMICK BOY stands out in the opening race and could provide a change of luck for Victor Dartnall. He ran well last time and has been dropped another pound by the handicapper.

The Kayf Aramis Racing Club is a great venture. Membership costs a few quid a month and the flagship horse is former Cheltenham Festival hero KAYF ARAMIS. He goes today at Wetherby and is slipping down the handicap, although he could do with slightly better ground. His close relation ZAYFIRE ARAMIS makes his debut in the bumper and is said to be a nice prospect.

Good luck!

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