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Weekend Review - Sadler's could be a real Triumph for Hobbs

Sadler's Risk looks a major player in Triumph Hurdle

Sadler's Risk was always going to be an interesting jumping recruit from Mark Johnston's yard and he didn't disappoint with a scintillating debut over hurdles for new trainer Philip Hobbs at Kempton Park at the weekend.

Rated around 100 on the level, the four-year-old was already towards the head of the market for the eagerly-anticipated 2012 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before annihilating a field by a mouthwatering 17 lengths to propel him to the head of the betting alongside Baby Mix.

He will obviously face tougher tasks in his jumping career, but the way he quickened for Richard Johnson turning for home oozed class and he should certainly be on the shortlist for potential Triumph winners come March 16.

Top Weight is not always a Handicap

Handicap chases often get punters juices flowing as they try to find that good thing thrown in off a low weight, but yet again Saturday's Classic Chase showed that it can often pay to keep on the right side of the class of the race.

Hey Big Spender was sent off a huge 14/1 shot for the 3m 5f contest at Warwick and many would've dismissed his chance as he had to have the burden of 11st 12lbs on his back.

However, regardless of the weight carry, in theory he was the best horse in the race and assisted by a magnificent ride by Joe Tizzard showed just that, as he outgunned bottom weight Fredo to lift the Grade Three contest and put himself out there as a potential Grand National hope.

It's not the first time that a horse carrying a supposedly insurmountable weight has stormed to a long distance chase victory as Don't Push It showed in the Grand National and Silver By Nature showed in the National Trial at Haydock Park.

There is a reason they are top weight and being the best horse in the race can often be shown when they storm to success.

Bans yet again Whip up coverage

After Robert Cooper picked up a 52-day ban and Robert Winston and equally tough 22-day ban for misuse of the whip, there has been one angle that certainly has to be looked at.

Will Kennedy picked up a 7-day ban for his ride aboard Swincombe Flame in the Lanzarote Hurdle and duly lost his well-deserved prize money.  However, the fans of Featherbed Lane, in which jockey James Best stayed within the whip laws, are sure to be aggrieved after they were beaten by just a nose.

In the old rules, Kennedy showed magnificent desire to get his mount up after a sticky jump at the last, but would he have been able to win the race if he had stayed within the allotted eight hits.  I don't think so.

So, Featherbed Lane backers will no doubt be cursing the laws which Best abided to, as he would probably be counting his winnings still had he emulated Kennedy and broke the laws.

One To Watch

Several negative words were echoed about Menorah's sketchy round of jumping at Kempton Park on Saturday and some bookmakers had the audacity to lengthen his odds for the Arkle, but the 12/1 around is certainly a lively each way bet.

With a faster run race, the former classy hurdler will certainly be able to fight it out with the big boys and he will certainly be thereabouts jumping the second last at the Cheltenham Festival.