Lilac Tree can blossom in Stratford cracker

Get your daily racing tips with BetVictor's Charlie McCann
Get your daily racing tips with BetVictor's Charlie McCann

We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.

You would think it the middle of winter with three jumps cards to get our teeth into today including a decent card from Stratford.

The opener looks a match between David Pipe’s Low Key and Bedale (2.10) with the latter given the vote for John Ferguson and Aidan Coleman.

The selection was decent but lightly-raced on the Flat in France with Andre Fabre and made a promising start over timber when third at Fontwell earlier in the month. The drying ground should help and he can improve past Low Key who was decent himself on the level and has shown a decent level of form over timber. The Mythologist who won three of his last five in point-to-points is one to consider if the market speaks in his favour.

There is a terrific handicap hurdle with top-weight Royal Irish Hussar 2lbs lower than when fourth at Aintree back in May over 2m 4f and he could make them all go from the front under David Bass.

Preference, however, is for Lilac Tree (3.10) who has been raised 5lbs for finishing second to a progressive novice last Friday and has a lovely weight of 10st 8lbs. Alf Wright is another fascinating contender making his British debut for Philip Hobbs although he is returning from a 468-day lay-off.

There is a valuable Handicap Chase over 2m 4f and Al Alfa goes well fresh and is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Cheltenham back in December.

The selection has run very well on both previous starts at the track and connections look to have found a good opportunity for the eight-year-old to get back to winning ways.

Lawney Hill wouldn’t want too much rain at Southwell for Take A Bow and with the forecast suggesting heavy showers he is overlooked in favour of point-to-point winner Whats Left who makes his chase debut for Neil Mulholland.

The selection showed glimpses of ability over timber but chasing was always going to be his game and he must go close in the opener which might throw up a couple more winners in the next few weeks.

The Mulholland and Fehily team are in action at Sedgefield this evening and The Bay Bandit is likely to be a warm order in the handicap chase over the minimum trip but I must give Sleep In First (6.00) another chance.

You can put a line through his latest effort at Uttoxter as he had a desperate trip from the Borders down to Staffordshire and the selection has been dropped 2lbs. The hope is he makes them all go from the front.

At Musselburgh, Isla Rose (2.30) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and improved for the step up to 6f when beaten less than five lengths at Thirsk last time. She has a good draw in stall one and should appreciate making her handicap debut off a modest mark.

Rodrigo De Torres is chasing the four-timer but I hope he can help set the race up for Spring Offensive (4.00) who might have been a shade unlucky at Pontefract last time and has been running consistently well in defeat of late for Richard Fahey.

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