Williams fears Testify in race that unearths classy prospects
The Grade 2 Altcar Novices’ Chase has a rich history of producing highly talented horses who progress into Grade 1 performers.
Waiting Patiently, who earned rave reviews last weekend following his impressive Kempton success, beat subsequent Tingle Creek Chase hero Politologue in the race 12 months ago, while Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai claimed the prize the previous year.
Testify, who took the notable scalp of chasing debutante Clyne on heavy ground at Haydock last month, looks the most likely of the three runners to hit the heights this time.
Donald McCain’s seven-year-old boasts an official rating of 145 after two starts over fences, which sets a very stiff standard for the other.
Evan Williams, trainer of Positively Dylan – who has 8lb to find with Testify on official ratings – said: “He faces an impossible task [against Testify], but we can’t leave him at home when there is so much money available.
“We’re going there to support the race and to support Haydock, who do a great job with prize-money.”
Impressive Flow out to continue winning ways
McCain, whose stable continues in fantastic form, also has a serious contender for the Grade 2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (2.05) – a race he won with Peddlers Cross (2010) and Cinders And Ashes (2012) – in the shape of Waterlord.
This course-and-distance winner steps up in class after powering home 15 lengths clear of Mahlervous in novice company last time out, and faces some similarly progressive rivals, including the Kim Bailey-trained First Flow.
The son of Primary has won his last two starts, including a Newbury event by 20 lengths in the manner of a horse well worth keeping on the right side.
Bailey said: “He deserves this step up after two impressive wins. He’ll like the ground and we’re very happy with him, but it’s a competitive race.”
Lake Field's hat-trick bid
Lake Field, winner of his last two starts at Newbury and Catterick by an aggregate of 24 lengths, faces his toughest task yet in the Watch Racing UK In HD Handicap Chase (3.45), but Bailey is hopeful he will prove good enough.
“It’s a step up in class,” he said. “He’s won his last two, and this is tougher. I hope he’s good enough to win again.”