Five Horses To Watch Out For This Weekend - 21/11/2018

Laurina

1. Might Bite

Last season's Gold Cup Runner-Up and number one misbehaver Might Bite is back, and begins his quest of revenge in the Cheltenham feature in leg one of the Jumps Triple Crown at Haydock on Saturday.

Many would argue that on a better surface, he would of got the better of Colin Tizzard-trained Native River seven months ago, but the dust has settled there and it is time to move on. He showed his class on his final run of last season in the Aintree Bowl Chase, and will get his ideal quick conditions to suit on Saturday.

As a result, he is the even-money favourite for the Betfair Chase, with Native River best-priced at 3/1.

2. Politologue

Politologue will dodge the big guns in the Betfair Chase, by steering towards the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot.

Owner John Hales is hoping the plan tees up his dual Grade 1 winner for a first try over three miles in the King George VI Chase on December 26. The Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot over 2m5f is the favoured starting point for the Paul Nicholls-trained chaser, who Hales dreams might be good enough to win a Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Fourth in the Champion Chase, Politologue relished stepping up in trip at Aintree at the end of last season and connections are positive that a greater stamina test can help the highest-rated chaser in the Nicholls yard climb even higher.

It will be great to see the popular grey back, who never leaves anything behind on the racecourse.

3. Laurina

Laurina - who held an entry in last week's Morgiana Hurdle in Ireland before dropping out, looks to begin her quest potentially towards the Champion Hurdle in the Coral Hurdle - also at Ascot.

She demolished her rivals in the Mares Novice at the Festival earlier this year, and is certainly a star in the making. Idolled as potentially the new Annie Power or Vroum Vroum Mag, she will come up against some of last year's top novices in Call Me Lord and If The Cap Fits - the latter who was second in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last week.

He will surely come on for that run, but Laurina is the standout headline act in the field for trainer Willie Mullins, and is certainly the one to watch.

4. First Assignment

First Assignment only ran at Cheltenham last week, but could follow that up in the Grade 3 Betfair Exchange Stayers Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday, to complete a hat-trick of wins.

That win at Prestbury Park at the weekend was oh-so impressive, beating Boyhood by nine lengths in
a listed contest, and really looks a 5yo going places. He could be a real flag-bearer for Ian Williams, and it will be interesting to see if he jumps up in grade and takes his place here.

Also won at Cheltenham at the back end of October.

5. Modus

Barry Geraghty has always spoke so highly of the JP McManus owned Modus, who frustrated in several poor runs last year, including down the field in the JLT.

However, he returned to the top of his game in the Randox Health Handicap Chase at Cheltenham three weeks ago, where he denied Duke of Navan by a head. He will come on for that run, and more will be expected in the Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

He will come up against Duke Of Navan once more, but also has to contend with the likes of Ozzie The Oscar - 2nd in the Haldon Gold Cup a few weeks back, and Cyrname - who was third to Mister Whitaker in a Listed contest at Carlisle recently, form that has been boosted since.

Will be a tough ask, but if on peak form, will be hard to beat.

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