Jumping Ahead: Wetherby, Ascot and a Racing Trip North

After Cheltenham and Aintree treated us to some cracking races last weekend, it feels like the jumps season is well and truly underway.

November is where plenty of the big guns are set to return and with the clocks now back an hour, you can be confident that its all about the jumps season from here on in.

I’ll be enjoying a real treat of a racing weekend with my Uncle, first up in Scotland at Ayr on Saturday, where we’ll also be saying hello to an old friend in Rainbow Rebel, and then at Carlisle on Sunday.

Rainbow Rebel, ridden by Joe Fanning, before running at Haydock in 2018.
Rainbow Rebel, ridden by Joe Fanning, before running at Haydock in 2018.

It’s the first time I’ve been to either track and the first time I’ve been racing in Scotland, so they’ll be two courses that I can tick off the list.

As well as that, we’ve got some brilliant action to come on both sides of the Irish Sea this weekend including the Grade One Champion Chase at Down Royal, the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and the Grade Three Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot.

Envoi Allen (1:15 Down Royal – Saturday)

Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Jockey: Davy Russell

I flagged up Envoi Allen in my horses to follow this season and also put him up in my blog just a few weeks ago as an ante-post bet for the Ballymore at 10/1.

Without even running, that price is now as short to 5/1 with some bookies and that comes after Gordon Elliott confirmed the Ballymore would be the long term target in his Racing Post stable tour.

That means its a slight surprise to see the Champion Bumper winner go over two miles again rather than two-and-a-half, but this is his first run of the season so there is plenty of time to step up in trip before March.

Elliott has also banged in some winners on their seasonal reappearance already this week and I’m expecting Envoi Allen to get the job done on his first go over hurdles.

Clan Des Obeaux (2:25 @ Down Royal – Saturday)

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Harry Cobden

Plenty of Paul Nicholls’ horses have been needing the run this season but I just don’t think the champion trainer would be taking one of his stars all the way to Down Royal if he didn’t think he was capable of winning.

All the vibes from Ditcheat are that Clan Des Obeaux is a better horse this season and given Nicholls’ has a 50% strike rate from 22 runners at Down Royal in his career, I’m expecting Clan to win this.

His win in the King George suggests that right-handed tracks seem to be his bag and the three-mile trip should be right up his street.

Obviously, there will be a bit of tactical play to overcome against Team Gigginstown, but even at 20-years-old, Harry Cobden is already capable of overcoming those.

Come on the Clan!

Faustinovick (12:45 @ Carlisle – Sunday)

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Jockey: Robbie Power

If you are a fan of the JP McManus-owned Andy Dufresne, then you might be interested in Faustinovick this Sunday at Carlisle.

He was second to Andy Dufresne in their point-to-point at Borris House back in 2018, when the pair pulled well clear of the field and was eventually bought by the Tizzard’s for a cool ยฃ170,000.

He’s been seen once under rules since then when second to the highly regarded McFabulous in a bumper at Newbury, a run which came after suffering a number of small niggles according to Joe Tizzard’s piece in Jake Price’s Horses to Follow.

It’s likely that he will want a bit further than the 2m4f that will face him on Sunday, but the stiff nature of the track at Carlisle should play to his stamina.

Lostintranslation (2:30 @ Carlisle – Sunday)

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Jockey: Robbie Power

Topofthegame was another of my horses to follow this season, despite being beaten on his most recent start at Aintree by Lostintranslation.

The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old was battling it out with Defi De Seuil for most of last season, but was stepped up to three miles for the first time at Aintree and really seemed to bring out the best in him.

The Gold Cup at Cheltenham is the eventual plan for the horse that has now taken over Cue Card’s box at the Tizzard’s and big things are expected this season, starting at Carlisle where Tizzard has a 25% strike rate.

Featured Image provided by http://www.horseracingphoto.co.uk and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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