Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on Saturday at Ascot and Lingfield. View selections below.
CASH AND GO (3.10) should go close for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty in another wide-open renewal of the Ladbroke Hurdle at soggy Ascot.
Formerly trained with considerable success by Edward O’Grady, Cash And Go had winning form on deep ground in Ireland and there was plenty of encouragement to be gleaned on his first start for Henderson at Cheltenham when chasing home Olofi in the Racing Post Hurdle. Cash And Go underlined his potential in winning the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period last year and he can step up to the plate here. Mudlark Bothy has bags of solid form in tough handicaps and Patrick Corbett takes off 7lb.
The Long Walk Hurdle doesn’t look the same without injured Big Buck’s but the superstar’s unfortunate absence opens the door for Alan King’s SMAD PLACE (2.00). A repeat of his third place in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle would make top-rated Smad Place very hard to beat, although he must put behind him a disappointing reappearance effort at Wetherby when folding tamely in the straight behind Tidal Bay and Crack Away Jack.
This could be a defining few days for Colin Tizzard, who saddles Cue Card in the King George on Boxing Day, and victory for HEY BIG SPENDER (2.35) would be a timely confidence boost. Hey Big Spender hasn’t been seen since winning the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick in mid-January but he goes well fresh, as advertised when beating Big Fella Thanks on heavy ground at Carlisle in November 2010. Tough rivals Roberto Goldback and Hold On Julio should ensure the Tizzard stayer goes off an attractive price.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh are a Saturday staple for thousands of punters across the country and ULCK DU LIN (3.40) will be solidly supported to follow-up his recent victory in the Sportingbet Chase at Newbury. Still only a four-year-old, the progressive French import can defy a 10lb rise.
At Lingfield, COOL SKY (3.35) has been handed a quick opportunity to supplement his course and distance victory eight days ago. Runner-up Chookie Hamilton justified strong favouritism at Wolverhampton in midweek and this big field is short on quality.
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