Sam’s Adventure can win the Peter Marsh Chase (A Limited Handicap) (2.40pm) at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon.
Brian Ellison’s nine-year-old won over course and distance before Christmas and he can score again in the Grade Two feature on Merseyside – providing the meeting gets the go-ahead following a precautionary inspection at 8am on Saturday morning.
Sam’s Adventure looks an ideal type for Haydock’s extended 3m1f contest having already shown his ability to handle both the track and conditions when winning the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase last month.
The gelded son of Black Sam Bellamy was impressive when winning a Novices’ Chase on Midlands Grand National day at Uttoxeter last March.
And although he was pulled up on his seasonal return at Carlisle, he followed up a fifth-placed finish at Haydock in November with that with success in the Tommy Whittle, travelling and jumping well before staying on to beat Sojourn by four lengths.
He is up to his highest chase mark of 139 and this is a tougher contest. But Sam’s Adventure looks to be making good strides as a staying chaser and can take the next step with another Haydock win.
It could also give connections the hint to aim him at the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse on April 10 and put him among the initial entries for the big race when they are revealed later this month.
A return to the Cheltenham Festival will be the aim for dual Champion Hurdler, Buveur D’Air, when he makes his return in the Grade Two New One Unibet Hurdle (Gbb Race) (3.15pm).
Nicky Henderson’s 10-year-old – who won the Festival feature in 2017 and 2018 before falling a year later and missing last year’s renewal due to injury – makes his first start since November 2019 and faces just two rivals in Navajo Pass and course and distance winner Ballyandy.
The former – trained by Donald McCain – will make sure Buveur D’Air doesn’t have it all his own way. But Henderson’s hurdling star – who won at Haydock over fences on his only previous trip to the Merseyside track – can prevail and book his ticket to another crack at the Champion Hurdle.
Grand National-winning trainer McCain could have a good day at one of his ‘home’ tracks with Minella Drama ready to win the Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Gbb Race) (1.30pm) and maybe book a ticket to Prestbury Park in March.
The six-year-old has won two of his three starts over hurdles for Merseyside-born trainer McCain.
Following a debut second at Bangor he has landed two victories at Sedgefield and back at Bangor.
The last success at the Welsh venue was particularly impressive as he scored by 12 lengths.
The six-year-old is still learning but deserves this step up in grade and can continue on an upward curve and bring up the hat-trick before heading for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Henderson’s Allart may also book his Cheltenham ticket with victory in the Grade Two Read Nicky Henderson’s Unibet Blog Novices’ Chase (Altcar Novices’ Chase) (Gbb Race) (12.55pm)
The seven-year-old landed a debut victory over fences at Ascot last time and will be hard to beat at Haydock.
Sam England’s Chef D’Ouevre – a course winner over fences two years ago – may be able to build on his second in a chase at Wetherby last time to go one better over the smaller obstacles in the Unibet Extra Place Races Every Day Handicap Hurdle (2.05pm).
James Ewart’s Black Pirate can win the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap Chase (3.50pm).
The lightly-raced nine-year-old can build on his fifth on his chasing debut at Newcastle last month to go a couple of places better.
McCain’s Nefyn Point can win the finale at Haydock, the Unibet Casino Deposit 10 Get 40 Bonus Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier For The Northern Lights Two Mile Hurdle Series) (4.20pm).
The seven-year-old was a good second at Carlisle last time and looks to have a good opportunity to return to the winner’s enclosure.
At Ascot Paul Nicholls’ Politologue should be able to grab another Grade One victory in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase (GBB Race) (3.35pm).
With Defi Du Seuil disappointing Politologue was back in the winner’s enclosure at Cheltenham in November before landing Grade One glory in the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Defi Du Seuil, who won this race last year, is a danger if he can bounce back - but Politologue seems in such good form at present he can score again.
Ditcheat trainer Nicholls may already have scored with course and distance winner Favorito Buck’s in the Grade Three Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Gbb Race) (1.50pm).
Others who may triumph at Ascot are Colin Tizzard’s War Lord in the Matchbook Handicap Chase (2.25pm), the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Good Boy Bobby in the bet365 Handicap Chase (Gbb Race) (3pm); and Dan Skelton’s Roksana can get the better of dual winner – and 2019 Grand National runner-up – Magic Of Light in the bet365 Juvenile Hurdle (Novices’ Championship Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Gbb Race) (12.40pm).
At Taunton the Fergal O’Brien-trained Gortroe Joe may follow up his recent win at Market Rasen with another in the Invest Southwest Seniors’ Handicap Hurdle (Gbb Race) (2.45pm).
HAYDOCK PARK (precautionary inspection 8am)
1.30pm Minella Drama
2.05pm Chef D’Oeuvre
2.40pm Sam’s Adventure (NAP)
3.15pm Buveir D’Air
3.50pm Black Pirate
4.20pm Nefyn Point
1.50pm War Lord
2.25pm Favorito Buck’s
3pm Good Boy Bobby
4.10pm Jeremy Pass
1.05pm Banana Joe
2.10pm Yala Enki
2.45pm Gortroe Joe
3.25pm Spirit Of Rome
4pm Molly Carew
4.30pm Mayhem Mya
4.05pm Great Esteem
4.40pm Influence Is Power
5.10pm Van Dijk
6.40pm Bringing Glory
SUNDAY’S NAP: Spring Romance (4.10pm Lingfield)