Welcome to the first Pointing To Winners of the 2014/15 season. With the Paddy Power meeting now behind us and the Hennessy just around the corner the season is gearing up and we’ve plenty of pointers turning up under rules. In this first week I’d like to pinpoint a few who I believe will be winning this weekend.
Alisier D’Irlande warrants a mention in Friday’s opening maiden hurdle event at Ascot. The son of Kapgarde was sold expensively to Roger Brookhouse following his victory in a Templemore four year old maiden on heavy ground back in April. It’s a slight concern that the two directly behind him haven’t franked the form since but he won easily enough that day and we should find out more against him as he tackles a couple of promising ex-pointers in Saint Charles and Scorpiancer tomorrow. My preference would be for Scorpiancer who was the impressive winner of a heavy ground event at Kildorrey back in February. The son of Westerner showed plenty of reserves of stamina to beat Westerner Point and Kristian Gray in a decent time and he can step up on his rules debut second at Ffos Las last month for trainer Rebecca Curtis with the step up in trip likely to suit and Tom Scudamore in the saddle here.
Formerly trained by Timmy Hyde Adam Du Breteau was perhaps a tad unlucky in his first two pointing outings at Tinahely and Dromahane back in March. The son of Network tipped up on both occasions but the form has been franked since and he still held a strong chance when falling three out in a race won by last weekend’s well backed winner Alpha Des Obeaux on debut in a six runner event. Now trained by Jonjo O’Neill this classy looking four year old was a rare pointing ride for Nina Carberry for his debut and his victory between the flags and he showed no lack of speed when winning at Dromahane and he can take this traditionally hot novices event that provides the penultimate race on Friday’s Haydock card.
Masters Hill is one horse who’s been racing under rules for a couple of years now spending much of last hurdling following a disappointing effort when pulled up at Wincanton in a listed handicap in November. Colin Tizzard’s gelding saw off the promising Hunter Chase winner Walden for his maiden at Farmacaffley back in February 2012 and looked a stayer of serious potential at that stage. Sadly following a defeat of Rev It Up at Chepstow that October his rules career has gone downhill somewhat but he won first time out over hurdles last season at Exeter and his victory at Chepstow came following an absence and with a nice racing weight and the ground to suit this coming Saturday he can take the finale at Haydock on Betfair Chase day.
The final horse of interest from a betting viewpoint this week is the David Evans-trained Gentle George. The eleven year old could return from a prolonged absenceto make his handicap debut at Lingfield on Tuesday for new trainer David Evans. The son of Roi De Rome was successful three times in hunter chases, most recently when defeating prolific pointer Freddies Return at Warwick over three and a quarter miles in March last year. Following that the gelding ran a couple of solid races when beaten a short head by Kirkleigh at Chepstow and when finishing fifth behind Tartan Snow in the Foxhunters at Aintree in April 2013 and he could make a winning handicap debut here for a trainer who’s had winners coming off a long lay-off in the past.
Elsewhere in the coming days both Milsean and Tell Us More are entered up for trainer Willie Mullins. The Gigginstown House Stud-owned pair look likely to play leading roles in the novice hurdle division this year season though are unlikely to be backable prices this weekend. Milsean was the impressive winner of two of his three outings in bumpers – the most recent coming when defeating Montys Meadow at Limerick in March while Tell Us More’s sole rules outing came when justifying odds-on favouritism in a pointers bumper at Gowran Park in March.