Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Graham Cunningham's Guide to the TV Races

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Graham Cunningham's Guide to the TV Races

Article excerpt

Ascot (BBC1)

1.25: BYRON LAMB looks the interesting one here. Never out of the first two in six runs over fences, he ran a subsequent winner close at Wetherby on his reappearance and the booking of Barry Geraghty is eye-catching.

The Queen's First Love is another to note, but Byron Lamb is well handicapped and looks the safe call.

1.55: Only a fool would dismiss Azertyuiop, but last year's Arkle winner concedes lumps of weight to good horses here. Native Scout presses him for favouritism after improving to chase home Moscow Flyer at Leopardstown, but ISIO looks the answer to a very complex puzzle. Nicky Henderson's gelding is 19lb better off after running a stormer to finish 12 lengths behind Azertyuiop when third in the Arkle. He should be spot on after a spin over hurdles and will be very hard to keep out of the money.

2.25: Keep stakes to a bare minimum in a race full of question marks.

Almaravide returned to form at Leicester last time, but COUNT TONY is rejuvenated of late and still looks fairly treated despite having gone up 9lb for his Kempton win on Boxing Day.

Haydock (BBC1)

1.10: Royal Rosa cost a staggering 340,000gns last year, but his ready defeat of second raters at Hexham is scant preparation for taking on much more seasoned opposition here. SH BOOM has the best recent form and is much the most likely winner, but Simply Supreme relishes the mud and fits the bill for those seeking a value each-way alternative.

1.40: More a race to watch rather than bet on as the exciting Kingscliff tests his Gold Cup credentials. He's scared off most of the opposition and should relish these big fences, but Ascot winner HORUS won't be a pushover in receipt of 18lb and could be the value if the punters go mad on the favourite.

2.10: The ex-Australian star Specular is the buzz horse in the Champion Hurdle market, but he has it to prove in this country and can help make the market for ROOSTER BOOSTER (nb). Granted, his stable have had a few setbacks recently, but there didn't look much wrong with the current champion when he chased home Intersky Falcon in Kempton's Christmas Hurdle. …

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