One key runner from each of the eight races at Haydock and Ascot on ITV
Betfair Racing Only Bettor Handicap Hurdle, 2m3f
Kid Commando was one of the stars of the best day of Anthony Honeyball's career last month. The progressive hurdler was the middle leg of a memorable 308-1 treble for his trainer at Ascot, making all in the Listed Sodexo Handicap Hurdle before coming home nearly five lengths clear. He has been put up 7lb for that success and takes on six other last-time-out winners yet remains the one to beat.
Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase (Grade 2), 2m5f
This was the race in which Cyrname thrillingly ended Altior's long unbeaten run last year. That winner is the top-rated chaser in Britain and he is a hard act to follow, but Imperial Aura looks the sort who could well be up to making a mark in Grade 1 company in time. He won the novice handicap chase at Cheltenham last March and he showed he remains firmly on the up when making a successful reappearance in an intermediate event at Carlisle three weeks ago.
Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3), 3m½f
What a bargain! David Pipe bought Main Fact for just £6,000 at the Doncaster sales in May 2018 and rarely has money been better spent. Having given him a year and a half of rest and recuperation, the trainer brought him out at around this stage of last season and proceeded to win five handicap hurdles in a row. Main Fact then showed his versatility by adding another three victories on the Flat and comes here on a nine-timer.
Call Me Lord
Coral Hurdle (Grade 2), 2m3½f
No current trainer can beat Nicky Henderson's tally of wins in this Grade 2 contest – the champion trainer has taken it with Chomba Womba (2008), Zaynar (2009) and Oscar Whisky (2012). He bids for a fourth victory with Call Me Lord, who was a close second 12 months ago and will be all the better for last month's comeback fourth at Aintree.
Betfair Chase (Grade 1), 3m
Lostintranslation landed the first Grade 1 race of the season in 2019, jumping superbly and ending dual winner Bristol de Mai's unbeaten record at Haydock. He had a wind operation after a poor effort in the King George VI Chase and showed he is a real top-notcher when third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bristol de Mai takes him on again, as does dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux, who finished fourth in this race two years ago.
Coral Hurst Park Handicap Chase, 2m1f
Bryony Frost has been a huge part of the Paul Nicholls team in recent seasons, riding big winners for him on the likes of Frodon, Black Corton and Present Man. But they are on opposite sides here as the 11-time champion trainer runs Magic Saint and last year’s winner Capeland, while Frost teams up with Irish mare Abbey Magic, who has won all bar one of her five starts for Henry de Bromhead.
My Odds Boost On Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Chase, 3m4½f
A gruelling test of stamina is ideal for Perfect Candidate, who has run in two Grand Nationals and hinted at limitless staying powers when making all in this race last year, battling on dourly to score by seven lengths. He should have come on for his reappearance eighth at Aintree and opposes runner-up Pobbles Bay and fourth-placed Don Poli.
Coral Supporting Prostate Cancer UK Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, 1m7½f
For the second week running ITV rounds off its broadcast with a bumper and its main hope will be that the darkness holds off long enough for the judge to declare an outright winner. Paul Nicholls will hope that winner is newcomer Kandoo Kid, who was bought for €92,000 as a two-year-old and is out of a half-sister of the trainer's Champion Chase winner Politologue.
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