It’s back to jumping action at Haydock Park today following a great win by Gabrial in last weekend’s Lincoln.
Haydock stages a couple of valuable handicaps and it’s the handicap chase that provides our selection.
The rain that has softened the ground at Haydock Park is just what the doctor ordered for Astigos who relishes soft or worse ground. Astigos has just ran some cracking races over fences but has yet to get his head in front from five starts. Today, he is at the bottom of this handicap off a rating of 122 which could look very lenient at 3:15 this afternoon.
In his past four chasing starts Astigos has placed 3322 and it’s his effort at Cheltenham back in January that looks excellent form. On that occasion he stayed on powerfully up the hill over 2m5f just failing by ¼ length to beat Generous Ransom with Irish Cavalier two lengths back in third.
The form of that January race was franked in no uncertain fashion when Irish Cavalier won the novices handicap chase on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival with General Ransom not far back in third. Both Irish Cavalier and General Ransom have shot up the handicap ratings unlike Astigos who runs today off a 4lb higher mark of 122!
Astigos will relish the step up in trip to 3 miles and stable jockey Aidan Coleman takes the ride. Venetia Williams has not enjoyed her usual quota of winners this season but fired in a winner at Exeter last Tuesday.
Here’s hoping Astigos goes and gives Venetia a big Saturday winner with Virak from the Paul Nicholls stable an obvious danger.
Selection – 1 Point Each Way Astigos Haydock 15:10 7/1 Betvictor & Bet365 else 13/2 generally
Best of luck,