TEMPLEGATE tackles a huge Saturday of action confident of landing a touch with a fair few winners.
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FONTAINE COLLONGES (3.35 Sandown, nap)
She is best when fresh as she showed when kicking off last season with a good victory at Haydock. She is a thorough stayer who likes some cut in the ground and is only 1lb higher than that latest success. She’s had a wind op ahead of this return and can go close.
RICHMOND LAKE (1.30 Aintree, nb)
He tuned up with a game hurdles win at Wetherby on return but chasing is his game. He won three times over fences last season including in good company at Ayr. He’s only 2lb higher now and saves his best for this trip.
JPR ONE (1.50 Sandown, treble)
He stumbled on landing after crossing the final fence with the race wrapped up at Cheltenham last time. That fired Brendan Powell out of the saddle but it was more bad luck than poor jumping. He tanked along in that Grade 2 contest and can make amends here on just his third run over fences.
Templegate’s Lucky 15
1.30 Richmond Lake
3.35 Fontaine Collonges
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Templegate’s TV verdicts
RICHMOND LAKE tuned up with a game hurdles win at Wetherby on return but chasing is his game. He won three times over fences last season including in good company at Ayr.
He’s only 2lb higher now and saves his best for this trip.
Brave Seasca’s last win was this race 12 months ago and he’s 1lb lower thanks to some poor form since. He was well backed before his Exeter flop last time and may have needed the run.
War Lord was a good third in that Haldon Gold Cup and looks a threat on ground he handles well.
Heltenham is another fit from a hurdles win at Wetherby. He won three times over fences before a Cheltenham fall and could be ahead of the handicapper for the Skeltons.
PERCUSSION has yet to put a foot wrong on three spins over the National fences, hitting the frame twice in the Grand Sefton and when third in this race 12 months ago.
He was staying on strongly in the Grand Sefton last month so this longer distance will be ideal.
There has been plenty of rain around and soft ground is another plus. He can get the better of defending champion Ashtown Lad who is only 2lb higher in the weights.
That’s down to a puzzlingly bad effort in the Topham here at the Grand National meeting before being pulled up again at Wincanton on comeback.
This is his main target though and the Skeltons will have him spot on.
Highland Hunter was second in the Welsh National when trained by Paul Nicholls two years ago and came back from 21 months off with an excellent second on debut for Fergal O’Brien at Kelso.
Conditions will suit and he’s a threat if building on that.
The Big Breakaway was hampered when falling in the Grand National and can show he’s better than that.
MAX OF STARS can put her experience to good use. She was a handicap winner at Stratford by 14 lengths before a smooth Market Rasen success.
Trainer Ollie Pears upped her to this Listed level for a close-up second at Newbury last time and her front-running style should be ideal for Aintree.
Eagle Prince chased home a potential star in Burdett Road at Cheltenham last month on just his second spin over hurdles and is clearly open to improvement.
Paul Nicholls has a long track record with French imports and Liari kicked off his British career with a fair win at Wincanton.
This is hotter company but he should come on for that experience.
Le Fauve has come across the Channel to join the Skeltons and he is worth keeping a close eye on in the betting ahead of this UK debut.
Palio was also behind Burdett Road, this time at Huntingdon, and should come on for that first run where he was second.
SONIGINO was a good third in a hotter contest than this at the Grand National meeting and comes here off a good fourth in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He’s off the same mark and will appreciate any juice in the ground. Holmes St Georges is consistent and put in another good effort when third at Down Royal.
He stays strongly and looks hard to keep out of the frame.
Vicki Vale returned with a solid second in decent company at Wincanton and looks open to improvement with few miles on the clock.
Benson is only 3lb higher than his last win and was an excellent second in this race 12 months ago. He didn’t take to chasing last time.
Bashers Reflection had plenty in hand when scoring at Wetherby so a 7lb rise for that looks fair.
CONSTITUTION HILL will be much too good on this glorified exercise gallop.
He has a fantastic engine and barely breaks stride in crossing his hurdles. He won this race 12 months again and should turn this into a procession.
It should be a good race for second and it will be interesting to see how 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Shishkin gets on.
He refused to race at Ascot and this may just rekindle his spark a little.
He won’t be given too hard a race but, particularly in testing ground, his class and stamina could see him finish second.
Love Envoi has won on her past two runs here and can figure in the podium battle.
Quirky Goshen has form over course and distance and gets the cheekpieces back on. That could wake him up after a poor show at Ascot.
JPR ONE stumbled on landing after crossing the final fence with the race wrapped up at Cheltenham last time.
That fired Brendan Powell out of the saddle but it was more bad luck than poor jumping. He tanked along in that Grade 2 contest and can make amends here on just his third run over fences.
Unexpected Party didn’t get up the Prestbury Park hill in the Paddy Power Gold Cup over 2m4f last time and this drop in trip looks wise.
He goes on any ground and looks a threat.
Iceo wasn’t right when last at Newton Abbot and is worth another chance after his easy debut win.
He won the Imperial Cup here over hurdles last season.
Petit Tonnerre made a decent start over fences when second in a Cheltenham Grade 2 and should build on that – but will need to.
IMPOSE TOI was so impressive when winning on handicap debut at Cheltenham last time so a 10lb rise in the weights won’t be enough.
He didn’t have to hit top gear in beating 16 rivals and there should be a lot more to come with trip and conditions ideal.
Punta Del Este should improve for his seasonal comeback second at Wetherby last month.
His best efforts have come on really testing ground so he should enjoy himself.
Jilaijone is consistent and was third at Ascot last time. The handicapper has left his mark alone and he has a live each-way chance.
Arqoob had plenty in hand when winning over course and distance 27 days ago.
A 7lb rise in the handicap for that is fair and he deserves a crack at this stronger contest.
French import Bucksy Des Epeires scored on his UK debut at Lingfield and has place claims on this handicap debut for Venetia Williams.
Langer Dan is 6lb higher than his Cheltenham Festival success and will be fitter for his Kempton comeback.
JONBON confirmed his superiority over Edwardstone with his smooth Shloer Chase win at Cheltenham and he was impressive when taking the Celebration Chase here in April.
He goes on any ground and should be much too good again.
Edwardstone won this 12 months ago and was a Grade 1 winner here earlier in his career. He was entitled to need that Cheltenham comeback but needs his very best to trouble the favourite.
If Boothill can reproduce his excellent Ascot form he’ll be a threat for second.
He clocked a personal best with his last win there two Saturdays ago.
Haddex Des Obeaux was set to go close before falling at Cheltenham last time but this is tougher while Nube Negra is not the force he was.
FONTAINE COLLONGES is best when fresh as she showed when kicking off last season with a good victory at Haydock.
She is a thorough stayer who likes some cut in the ground and is only 1lb higher than that latest success.
She’s had a wind op ahead of this return and can go close.
Beauport is hard to catch right but this sort of test should be right up his street.
The softer the ground the better for him and his best efforts have come from the front.
Certainly Red needed his comeback at Wincanton and wasn’t disgraced in the Bet365 Gold Cup on his last run here in April. He’s 4lb lower than that now.
Truckers Lodge stays forever and was unlucky to be brought down at Cheltenham latest.
Broken Halo has a good record here but in military races.
12.00 Jasko Des Dames
12.32 Dr Eggman
1.07 Slade Steel
1.42 Shadow Rider (nb)
2.17 Shantreusse (NAP)
2.52 Hiddenvalley Lake
3.25 Big Chou
12.15 Timeless Piece
12.45 Midweek Voices
1.15 Mahon’s Way
1.45 Harmonya Maker
2.15 El Fabiolo
2.45 Skinnider (NAP)
3.15 Magic Conqueror (nb)
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