We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Three National Hunt cards and a terrific evening on the all-weather on a BetVictor sponsored card at Kempton, with Alan King’s Chatez (12.30) taken to get punters off to a flyer in Warwick’s opening juvenile hurdle. The selection enjoyed an excellent season on the flat, winning the Silver Bowl at Haydock en-route to a rating of 97 after a fruitful and well-placed campaign from the Barbury Castle handler.
The selection made a winning debut over timber last month at Bangor and should comfortably defy the burden of a 7lb penalty, en-route to much grander things over the horizon. The three-year-old is currently 20/1 with BetVictor for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but the key to him is soft ground, with the gelding likely to be a fraction of the price should it come up a bog at Prestbury Park in the spring.
Top Gamble (1.00) is a confident selection making his first foray into handicap chase company after making an impressive debut over the larger obstacles last month at Wetherby. The son of Presenting bludgeoned a strong field of 120+ chasers, jumping his rivals into submission, and Richard Lee’s charge is fancied to give weight and a beating to his eight rivals and land a nice midweek pot.
The Rebecca Curtis yard have had something of a lean spell but Carningli (2.00) can return the stable back into the winners’ enclosure with Champion Jockey AP McCoy in the plate. McCoy partnered the five-year-old was progressive last season, winning bumpers at Ffos Las and Cheltenham, both under McCoy. The gelding jumped poorly on his debut over timber at Uttoxeter but was having his first run after returning from a break and should be stripped fitter to give a much better account this afternoon.
Sam Twiston-Davies, Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore are all Taunton-bound this afternoon with the latter fancied to follow-up on Bladoun (1.10) after landing a gamble last week at Leicester. The selection had been off the track for the best part of a year before bolting up in impressive fashion and David Pipe’s six-year-old can follow up under a 7lb penalty, before a 13lb hike at the weights takes effect next week.
The Philipp Hobbs stable continue to churn out winners, the evergreen Wishfull Thinking landing Sunday’s G2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, and The Skyfarmer (2.10) can use a recent pipe-opener to return to winning ways under Richard Johnson. The selection disappointed last month at Ascot however the six-year-old boasts much better form going left-handed, including course and distance form at the track last term and looks well-treated with a drop at the weights.
Nicky Richards and Brian Harding have been the stand-out combination from the north thus far this term and Western Rules (3.20) can follow-up last month’s course and distance success in Newcastle’s bumper. The well-bred son of Westerner was well-backed before his impressive success, staying on strongly in the closing stages, and looks to set to defy his 7lb penalty.
Wentworth Falls (4.50) has proven expensive to follow this season but belatedly shed the maiden tag under Adam Kirby last month at Kempton and can follow-up over course and distance in the BetVictor Svengali Nursery over 6f. The selection is well-drawn in stall three, is likely to be ridden prominently and a big player with the Charlie Appleby yard thriving.
William Muir’s Big Baz (6.20) is a confident selection for the feature Daily Sven to 1 Specials at BetVictor Mile Handicap after scoring impressively in the style of a good horse last time out at Lingfield. The selection boasts a progressive profile on the all-weather, three wins from four starts, and can defy a 5lb hike at the weights under Stevie Drowne.
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