Safran De Cotte the Tommy Whittle choice
Safran De Cotte has fallen to a dangerous mark and with conditions to suit can take advantage to land the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock today (2.05).
The Henry Daly trained grey is a three-time winner over fences with his last success coming in a novice chase at Chepstow where he beat De La Bech by four lengths off an official rating of 125.
The gelding was allotted an opening handicap mark of 130 on the back of that effort, and although not at his best in four starts last season didn’t run too badly on the last two occasions.
In the first of those the eight-year-old finished sixth of 15 to Shotgun Paddy in a decent Grade 3 contest at Warwick off 126 and he backed that up with a fourth of 16 to Wyck Hill in the Eider Chase at Newcastle off 122.
Safran De Cotte is now able to race off 121, and that makes the son of Dom Alco well-treated on the pick of his form.
Although he ran a stinker in this 12 months ago, Safran De Cotte is now 8lb lower in the weights and has winning form at the track having landed a bumper and a handicap hurdle at it earlier in his career.
Safran should also strip fitter for his reappearance run at Cheltenham where he ran too fresh and faded badly before being pulled-up, and the testing conditions today will be right up his street.
The main danger to the selection could well be Fill The Power who signalled a return to form last time out when a solid second to the well-handicapped and gambled on Milborough at Carlisle.
The pair pulled 35 lengths clear of the third home to give the form a solid look, and Fill The Power gets into this off the same mark of 128.
That is just 2lb higher than when the eight-year-old was last successful in the mud at Wetherby when scoring by 18 lengths and gives the son of Subtle Power every chance from a handicapping perspective.
Fill The Power shoudl also now be spot on to do himself justice after three runs this season, and with underfoot conditions holding no fears a big run looks on the cards.