Five horses for Saturday: Exciting novice hurdlers and a potential Grand National hope

Thu 19 Nov 2020

There's live racing from Huntingdon, Naas and Haydock on Racing TV this Saturday and we've picked out five runners to look out for both this weekend, and for the season ahead.

Winner of a Clonmel bumper on debut, the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old features in the ante-post betting for all the novice hurdle races at Cheltenham in March.

He starts off over the minimum trip, which should be a decent indicator as to what sort of distance his future this season might lie over.

Captain Kangaroo scored nicely at Clonmel on debut

12.40 Haydock - NEWTIDE

Kim Bailey’s string continue in fine fettle, which is good news for supporters of this seven-year-old.

He’s proven adept at winning off the back of decent absences, so a 256-day break shouldn’t hinder his chances on Saturday.

However, this progressive stayer will likely warm to the task as the season progresses and could feature among the market principles in some of the big staying handicaps in 2021 - no doubt connections will have the big one at Aintree in mind at some point!

1.50 Haydock - FIX SUN

Arrived on these shores with a hefty enough reputation that saw him sent off at 1-7 and 1-6 in two of his first three British starts, it’s safe to say it has not quite gone to plan since, including when he was well when beaten last time out in a competitive handicap at Cheltenham.

His trainer remains bullish about his ability, however, and is confident there is plenty to play with off a mark of 136. The softer the ground, the better for this five-year-old who could leave that Cheltenham performance behind him if no worse for wear.

2.25 Haydock - THE JAM MAN

Won a handicap on the Flat over two miles before making a mockery of his handicap mark over fences with an 18-length success in the Troytown at Navan last time out.

He now reverts back to hurdles, with his trainer targeting the Stayers' Hurdle at the Festival in March.

Saturday’s race will be a fine indicator as to whether those ambitions hold any weight.

The Jam Man bolted up at Navan last time out!

3.22 Naas - JANIDIL

Went somewhat under the radar last season despite landing the hat-trick in a Grade A handicap over two miles at Fairyhouse in December.

Stepped up a mile in trip at the Festival when finishing a creditable (if distant) fifth in the Albert Bartlett, that good run came despite being sent off an unfancied 16/1 chance.

Back down in trip for his chase debut, he’ll be hoping to translate his slick hurdling to the bigger obstacles.

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