Ch’tibello is worth taking on against The New One and co in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock. It’s true that Dan Skelton’s charge has a C&D verdict over My Tent Or Yours in similar ground, but they raced on the Flat track that day, and he was the beneficiary of an excellent tactical ride in a strange race.
This contest will be run at a much more searching gallop, and the churned-up ground will be considerably more testing too. He may well travel better than the favourite, but The New One and Clyne are both expected to show plenty of resolution at the business end, and Ch’tibello’s undeniable speed will be blunted.
Un de Sceaux looks hard to oppose at first glance in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot, but the market is swinging his way inexorably after Brain Power had been backed early in the week, and he will go off at a very skinny price. He is still the one to beat, but there are two scenarios which could play against him – getting into a battle with Speredek and allowing Speredek an easy lead.
Nigel Hawke’s improving front-runner could easily prove a thorn in the side of Un de Sceaux if both look to go forward, and given the latter didn’t look entirely happy at this track two years ago, that could be enough to cause him to run below form, with Brain Power capable of pouncing under a more patient ride.
The other scenario is less likely, but Speredek is capable of getting from A to B over fences at a decent lick, and if Paul Townend decides to leave him alone in front, it could be that the rag could spring a big shock.
It’s also possible that Un de Sceaux could fight Townend if not allowed to stride on, and that is also a potential negative. All in all, there appear to be reasons to oppose Un de Sceaux if he is trading around 1.5 as seems likely.
- Lay Ch’tibello – 14:40 Haydock (Saturday)
- Lay Un De Sceaux – 15:35 Ascot (Saturday)