Racing UK

Angus McNae

Hobbs juggernaut set to roll on to Ascot

21 November 2014

With a profit secured during the three days of the Cheltenham Open meeting it is time to move towards a sensational weekend of action on Racing UK.

I am planning on throwing a few units around and there is one horse in particular that I am very keen on.

Firstly though I am very much hoping that Faugheen wins Saturday’s Coral Hurdle, as he carries my antepost support for the Champion Hurdle.

In no way am I suggesting that you back him at the likely prohibitive odds, but you must watch him at Ascot for he is massively talented.

In fact I think he is possibly one of the best hurdlers we have seen for a long time. I also believe he is part of a team of horses trained by Willie Mullins who could dominate the National Hunt scene for the next few years.

Such is the strength of the yard at the moment I believe we are about to enter a golden era for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Walsh may be in the twilight of his career, but there is no way he is going to hang up his boots given the vast array of talented young horses he is associated with.

Faugheen is certainly one and this horse looks set to give Walsh a headache when it comes to a decision as to who to ride in the Champion Hurdle.

My main bet today is Wishful Thinking in the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot at 2.05pm on Saturday.

I was really impressed with him at Aintree last time out. He travelled and jumped well and really did surge away from a good field in the closing stages.

This effort came off a lay off and some will argue that he looks set to bounce today, but I take a different view. This horse has had breathing problems in the past but the way he finished his race at Aintree leaves a suspicion that those problems are a thing of the past.

Thus I take the view that his performance was not one born out of freshness after a break, but more out of him being able to physically perform to his best. A repeat of Aintree will put him in the winners’ enclosure again.

My second selection also comes from the Philip Hobbs yard in the shape of Big Easy. This horse runs in the Betfair 'This Is Play' 'Fixed Brush' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock and unlike at Cheltenham last weekend he will have professional assistance in the saddle from Richard Johnson.

I think his inexperienced rider may have been on a winner, rather than a runner up, if he had utilised the better ground against the stands’ rail in the straight at Cheltenham rather than challenging wide down the middle of the track.

I think Big Easy is a fair bit better than the bare result. He also remains well handicapped based on his form on the Flat, which saw him take the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

I expect him to take full advantage of his mark and the assistance he will get from the saddle.

My third selection is at Lingfield, where I think the Conditions race at 12.55 will go to Four Seasons. This son of Dubawi improved a good deal for his first time on Polytrack and his time at Kempton was impressive.

He appeared to relish racing on the surface as opposed to turf, and Adam Kirby can guide him to success again before he probably heads to Dubai.

Finally today I would like to congratulate all of the Tipstar finalists who went head-to-head at Kempton on Thursday night. Their contributions to the show were outstanding and they can rest assured that they were part of a very watchable programme.

A special pat on the back goes to the winner Richard Smith, who tipped a 16-1 winner and showed all of his working in a most eloquent fashion. Well done.

Angus McNae Saturday tips

2.05 Ascot: Wishful Thinking

2.25 Haydock: Big Easy at 8-1 with Betfair Sportsbook

12.55 Lingfield: Four Seasons

 

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