There’s a huge Saturday of racing with no less than nine races in front of the ITV cameras and Nick Luck has a pick for all of them!


SKY PIRATE (10/3) can repeat the dose in the Edward Courage at Warwick (1.18pm), despite racing from a much higher mark than when successful last year. He loves this track – he always has, even from his early days when trying staying trips – and he has almost certainly improved a bit again this year. I didn’t think his run behind Shishkin was at all bad, and this is by far his easiest test of the season. Most importantly, he should get the perfect stalking trip as Brave Seasca and Not Available duel for the lead.

THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE is no bet at 8/13, but is very hard to oppose in the Hampton (1.50pm), however hard I try. He looks very straightforward, and now has accrued plenty of experience for a better race. His defeat of Fantastikas reads well after that horse’s good run behind L’Homme Presse.

GENTLEMAN AT ARMS is a more sporting pick for the Leamington (2.25pm) at 11/1. He was really quite impressive in dispatching a highly regarded runner up at Huntingdon, and is blessed with a nice bit of flat speed which will stand him in good stead on this track. I have the utmost regard for this trainer/jockey combination and, in race where the truly concrete form horse is a heavy faller last time, this could make sense each-way.

I’ll be backing two in the Classic Chase (3.00pm). CORACH RAMBLER still has a bit of juice in his current price of 5/1, even though everyone’s been talking him up all week. He just looks a very assured horse who will be suited by a rhythmic test of jumping and a decent test of stamina. There is surely loads more to come.

The other one that interests me at a price is CAPTAIN TOMMY (16/1), who is an odd sort of horse, but is hard as nails, looks to be crying out for this trip, and is sliding gently down the handicap. Paddy Brennan might be an inspired jockey booking.

ALAPHILIPPE looks the percentage call in a minefield of a Pertemps Qualifier (3.35pm) at 3/1. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that one or two might have their eyes on the final rather than showing their full hand here, but the selection has a Stayers’ entry as well, a measure perhaps of the regard in which he’s held. He remains unexposed as a stayer, ran really well in the Albert Bartlett and looks very competitively treated.


FALCO BLITZ gets the vote in the TV opener at Kempton (1.32pm) at 6/1. He’s a quirky horse, but goes quite well here and seems to run well fresh. This is a good bit easier than some of the races that he contests, and I’d be inclined to put a line through Bangor, as he ran deplorably on his only other visit there.

DEFI DU SEUIL is an intrepid pick in the Silviniaco Conti (2.05pm). The bald facts are that he hasn’t run any kind of race for two years and clearly has a giant sized hole in him. That said, I gleaned rather more encouragement from his comeback run than some, and thought he travelled to the home turn with much of his old zest. That was his first run after a breathing operation, and it can be the case that second time after such a procedure is the time to catch them. At his best, he beats these and, given that none has a convincing profile, he makes some appeal at 9/2.

ON MY COMMAND is the each-way play in the Lanzarote (2.40pm) at 11/1. She has improved a good deal for the switch to Harry Fry and for the application of a tongue tie, while the step up in trip hasn’t done any harm either. This further step up should suit, as should being able to take a lead off a stronger gallop. She tries hard, and the handicapper may not have taken the emphasis of her Plumpton win quite seriously enough. Bold Plan is another who can run well at a price, having shaped significantly better for a long way at Hereford last time.

CARIBEAN BOY (3/1) looks to have been found a good opportunity to get his mojo back in the 3 miler (3.15pm). He is the best horse in this by some way judged on his efforts at Newbury and Haydock last year, but has slightly lost the plot. That said, he is now nicely treated and should be much more at home on this track than at Cheltenham, where he has looked ill last ease. This is a much weaker race, and even a reproduction of the form he showed in the Paddy Power would see him on the premises. James Bowen is 1-1 on the horse too.