We have a great weekend of racing. Day 2 of the Cheltenham showcase meeting provides three of the ten races on Channel 4 this afternoon. The cameras are also at Doncaster and Newbury from 1.50 through to the Racing Post Trophy at 3.45.
This morning I am going to look at the first televised race from Cheltenham.
2.10 Cheltenham winner.co.uk Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)
Wide open handicap with over half the field making seasonal reappearances. I will concentrate on the top two weighted: Next Sensation and Eastlake.
Following a breathing operation, Next Sensation made his first start of 2015 at the Cheltenham Festival a winning one by taking the Grand Annual. Always prominent he saw out the race strongly with Eastlake four lengths behind in second place. Twelve lengths had split them in the same race the previous year as Next Sensation finished fourth to Eastlake’s sixth.
The pair both then went to Aintree for their final outing of the season and both failed to see out their respective races.
They have taken a hike in the weights with Next Sensation up to 11-12, whilst Eastlake runs off 11-9, the same weight he carried to finish third in the 2013 Paddy Power before going on to win here at the December meeting.
Eastlake is of interest. In my opinion he was given too much to do at the festival and can be expected to go well today.
Very difficult to price but around 7/1 would be fair.