5:00pm Thursday 12th January 2012
By Ray Burroughs
BARBURY Castle trainer Alan King has his string in good form, chalking up another high profile victory at Sandown on Saturday, Hold On Julio beating a field of established handicappers with ease.
The nine year old joined the trainer last spring following a hunter chase victory at Kelso and made a brilliant start for his new connections, winning at Sandown in November and again last weekend.
King said: “I was delighted with him. His jumping could have been better but he powered away in the end and hopefully we can sort his jumping out.
“When we started working him in the autumn, everyone who sat on him fell in love with him, so we knew he was a good horse.
“The three mile handicap on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival would look to be the obvious target for him and I imagine he will have another ruin somewhere beforehand.”
Channel Four cameras are at Warwick and Kempton for three races on Saturday with the features being the William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle and Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.
The David Pipe-trained Sona Sasta will probably go off favourite for the Warwick, while Strongbows Legend, trained by Charlie Longsdon, who fell when favourite for the Sussex National on his most recent start is another to watch.
West country trainer Colin Tizzard has Hey Big Spender entered and is the selection.
Lanzarote Hurdle backers will be keeping an eye on the entries from Saturday specialist trainers Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, with the Henderson-trained Busker Royal tipped to gain an overdue success.
Wetherby seven races, beginning with an EBF novices Hurdle that could go to The Wayward Lord, the mount of Graham Lee.
All-weather fans are catered for with a meeting at Lingfield, where Kieran Fallon could win the first race on Kings Colour.
Later in the afternoon Hayley Turner could coax another victory out of Opus Maximus and would look to have a chance of completing a double on the Marcus Tregoning-trained Bronze Angel.
Collingbourne trainer Richard Hannon has a rare runner on the all-weather with Boudoir in the last race and trainer Mark Johnston could go close with Calypso Cay.
Racing at Kempton and Wolverhampton on the all-weather and Plumpton and Kelso over the jumps keep the betting office till ticking over on Sunday.
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