Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up six tips on Saturday at Newbury, Warwick and Leopardstown. View selections below.
MY TENT OR YOURS (3.35) has drying conditions in his favour and looks a worthy favourite to scoop the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
Europe’s richest handicap hurdle is always targeted by JP McManus and he was desperately unlucky not to scoop the pot 12 months ago when ill-fated Darlan crashed out at the penultimate obstacle when travelling strongly. The gambling gods weren’t smiling on the Irishman that day as his other fancied runner, Get Me Out Of Here, was seriously hampered by that fall and did extremely well to finish an unlucky second to Zarkandar. Darlan went on to finish runner-up in the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and that is the route McManus has mapped out for My Tent Or Yours, a horse with a high cruising speed. The six-year-old beat a very smart sort in Taquin Du Seuil at Ascot in November and with trainer Nicky Henderson also keeping top weight Petit Robin in the race (along with two others), it has ensured My Tent Or Yours gets in here with 11st 2lb. There is no way he is thrown in off quite a prohibitive rating (6lb higher than Darlan) but remains a very exciting prospect. Cotton Mill is a very interesting adversary as he was still travelling strongly in last season’s ‘Neptune’ at Cheltenham when ducking out at the second-last flight.
Leading Cheltenham Gold Cup contender SILVINIACO CONTI (2.25) will go off at short odds in the Betfair Denman Chase and Paul Nicholls’ rising star is a banker for accumulators. One of Nicholls’ representatives in the Betfair Super Saturday Chase, EDGARDO SOL (3.00), is trading at a tastier price and he doesn’t meet anything of the calibre of Sizing Europe, who put him firmly in his place at Leopardstown over Christmas. Wishfull Thinking rates a big threat but stopped as if shot after leading into the straight at Kempton in the event won by rallying Sanctuaire.
On a cracking card at Warwick, KELLS BELLE (1.30) should go close in the 2m 3f Mares’ Hurdle. She faded on heavy ground at Sandown last month when only fourth behind Une Artiste but holds a couple of these on the form of her Cheltenham success in a Listed handicap back in April.
In Ireland, brilliant jumper FLEMENSTAR (3.20) can resume winning ways in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown by taking the scalp of chief rival Sir Des Champs in a classic re-match of their Lexus Chase run. Flemenstar is unlikely to kick for home quite so early this time in what could be a tactical affair.
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