Starting at Ascot and the 1.25 gives Majed an excellent opportunity to build on his recent good second place. He can run off a mark some 2 stones below that of his peak and there is life in the old boy yet. He has to take on some improving sorts in The Tall Guy and Channahrlie to name but two. However, he has been given a decent chance by the handicapper and I hope he can take it.
The 2.00 Ascot sees Bob The Piler attempt to follow up his recent Newcastle success. He has an extra 4 furlongs to travel today but that should be well within his compass and if he lines up he should have a good shout.
The feature race at Ascot is at 2.35 and should see TUITCHEV win this race for the third time. Fondmort and The Roi Miguel will have their supporters but the one to give him most to do could be our old friend Hand Inn Hand. The small field should suit and he should be able to get plenty of time and space at the fences. He has a lot to make up on official ratings but looks a better horse than his rating implies.
If Doncaster gets the go ahead the main race is the Skybet Chase at 3.15. Martin Pipe has an excellent record in this race and he saddles Magical Bailiwick here. He is improving and has won his last four races and I hope he can make it the nap hand. Rodalko who has a similar profile and recent easy course winner Gottabe can give him most to do.
Also dependent on the weather is Uttoxeter and the main race is the Midlands National Trial which features a horse we backed many times last season including when second in both the Scottish National and the Whitbread Gold Cup namely Stormez. I think he must have an excellent chance over this distance of 3m4f and on a course where he won last year. Others who are likely to be prominent are Joss Naylor who was second to Strong Flow in the Hennessey and the improving pair Bear on Board and World Wide Web a recent big race winner in Ireland though trained by Johnjo O'Neill.