Cyrname is -250 with Ladbrokes to win the Betfair Ascot Chase, and if the meeting goes ahead that is a price worth taking.
Storms in southern England meant Sandown was abandoned on Friday and there is a precautionary inspection at Ascot at eight o’clock in the morning. The UK is being battered by Storm Dennis and the racing programme on Saturday is under threat.
In other news, Tiger Roll has been given the go-ahead to run in the Grand National. The winner of the race in the last two years was allocated top weight. Connections did not have an issue with that. However, it was the limited compression of the handicap which meant that Tiger Roll had to give weight to the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Native River, that riled. The owners, who also own the budget airline Ryanair, have decided to give Tiger Roll a shot at sporting immortality. He is now 6/1 (7.0) with William Hill to be the first winner of three Nationals in a row.
Some time in the future Cyrname could develop into a National horse. The immediate target is the Grade 1 chase at his beloved Ascot over two miles and five furlongs. The horse could then contest the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in the second week in March.
Cyrname will be racing in ideal conditions and has plenty in hand on form and ratings over the other three runners in the race. At -250, backers get a 40% Return On Investment and the big hitters will be tempted.
Ridersonthestorm is the second favourite and has something to find on the current ratings. However, the horse has improved in his last five starts and more progression could see him give Cyrname a decent race. Janika will struggle to get in the mix of the current mark and Traffic Fluide looks out of his depth on recent form. Cyrname cannot be opposed off level weights around Ascot and is the horse to back despite the cramped price. He can justify the short odds.
Given the green light and the fixture going ahead, Sam Brown can win the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase over almost three miles. The horse has produced a career-high Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 152 in his last race. He is unbeaten in two chase starts and may have too much for the favourite, Pym. That horse ran to 153 last time out and carries two pounds less than Sam Brown. However, Sam Brown can overcome the potential ratings difference and prevail in this race.
Storm Dennis may not hit the UK further north which means Haydock’s jumps card could survive. The Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle is an important trial for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. Goshen is the ante post favourite for that race but won’t be running at Haydock. The World’s End can take advantage of that horse’s absence and warrants favouritism at +150 with William Hill. The horse goes well in the mud and the smart hurdler can give favourite backers a result.
The feature race on the Haydock card is the Grand National Trial over more than three miles and seven furlongs. Rain is falling and more is due in the north-west of England and the race will be a gruelling test of stamina.
The National is often run on good ground so there won’t be too many pointers in the trial at Haydock. Yala Enki stays longer than the mother-in-law and the 2018 winner can win the race again if the weather does not intervene.
Today’s preview has been written with the proviso that Storm Dennis is not too damaging but the forecasts are not good.