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The Aidan Coleman column: Cepage stands out for me at Wincanton

By Aidan Coleman
Fri 16 Feb 2018

Racing UK ambassador Aidan Coleman gives us the inside track on his weekend rides and pays tribute to Liam Treadwell.

By Aidan Coleman

I would be very confident of Cepage’s chance of winning at Wincanton on Saturday, although I do have a slight concern about the ground.

He runs in the Betway Handicap Chase and I think he has the stand-out form of the five runners.

He’s only six and had only six runs in Britain for Venetia Williams. He was beaten only half a length by Sir Valentino on his seasonal debut in a valuable handicap at Ascot, and then reappeared to finish third at Sandown a fortnight ago. He should be spot on for this as a result.

He’s not the most straightforward and won’t have raced on ground this heavy, but I think he should get away with it and is my best chance of a winner this weekend.

I am on the Nicky Henderson-trained Call Me Lord in one of the big races of the day, the Betway Kingwell Hurdle.

He is a very progressive five-year-old and his win last time out on heavy ground at Sandown was very impressive. He’s taking his first step out of handicaps and it will be interesting to see what level he ends up at.

Betfair Chase Day - Haydock Racecourse Ch'Tibello is the one we all have to beat in the Kingwell Hurdle (PA)

Whoever beats Ch’Tibello will probably win as he looks the one we all have to aim at.

He was a close second to The New One last time, and wasn’t beaten far by My Tent Or Yours or Yanworth on his two runs before that.

The Flame should run very well in the Betway Handicap Hurdle. He made a very bad error three out at Huntingdon last month which cost him any chance of winning.

That was a little out of character as he’s usually a sound jumper. I’d say he’d have a decent each-way chance.

One to pick out for Sunday is Rouergate, who runs in the Enhanced Place Odds At 188Bet EBF Mares' "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle at Market Rasen. She was leading when falling at the last at Ludlow last month and she’ll be there or thereabouts.

Saturday's Betfair Ascot Chase looks like being one of the best renewals ever. However much I’d love to see Cue Card roll back the years under Paddy Brennan – and don't forget, he is top rated – I think it will be between Top Notch and Coney Island, with preference for the latter.

Coney Island had Grade One-winning form a couple of seasons ago and, after a break of a year, showed he was as good as ever when winning easily at Ascot before Christmas. He’s lightly raced and has stacks of potential.

Another horse with a bright future is Saint Calvados who booked his place in the Arkle with a bloodless win at Warwick last weekend.

2017 Cheltenham Festival - Gold Cup Day - Cheltenham Racecourse

He jumped brilliantly and looks a genuine contender next month. He is very much an unknown quantity and we think there’s a lot more to come, but it looks a tough, tough race and Footpad has been there and done it and is clearly a worthy favourite.

Finally, I want to wish Liam Treadwell all the best after he announced his retirement this week. I don’t think you’ll find a more popular person in the weighing room. He’s very unassuming and softly spoken and everyone gets on with him. He’s great company to be around and that’s why he’ll find we’ll all be staying in close touch with him.

Hopefully he’ll stay in racing and I was thinking he would be good in the media, as he’s very knowledgeable and composed and always comes across really well. I've no idea if Liam's thinking along those lines, but just a thought.

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