Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Chepstow, Leopardstown, Lingfield and Newbury on Saturday. View selections below.
GOONYELLA (2.35) can bag a second Coral Welsh Grand National for Irish trainer Jim Dreaper at Chepstow. The ground was very testing when Notre Pere ploughed his way to victory over the extended 3m 5f marathon trip in 2008, and stablemate Goonyella is out of the same mould. Conditions were bottomless when he landed quite a decent Punchestown event in April and his shrewd trainer has since campaigned him over an inadequate trip to preserve his mark.
Twelve months ago, ever-popular Tidal Bay recorded a dramatic success in the Lexus Chase in Ireland and he looks sure to run a big race, despite top weight. Mudlark Well Refreshed is another to consider, along with last year’s runner-up Teaforthree, in the maximum 20-runner contest.
My other recommendation at the Welsh track comes in the concluding bumper, with local trainer Evan Williams saddling top weight CAPILLA (3.45). The grey is penalised for his Ffos Las success on deep ground at the end of October and he then gave Flying Eagle a race of it on the same track. Flying Eagle had earlier chased home Hello George at Sandown and Capilla’s experience will be put to maximum advantage under gruelling conditions.
The Challow Hurdle at Newbury always attracts some promising young hurdlers and OSCAR ROCK (1.45) can record his third course victory (won two bumpers on soft). The five-year-old kicked for home a long way out at Newcastle when worn down by useful Ballyalton on Fighting Fifth day and Brian Hughes will probably ride Oscar Rock with a bit more restraint. The third horse, Blakemount, has since bolted up.
At Leopardstown, a top-notch field has been assembled for the Lexus Chase and LORD WINDERMERE (2.55) is worth an each-way investment to shock the likes of Bobs Worth, Sir Des Champs and First Lieutenant. Lord Windermere landed a cracking renewal of the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last March and will be all the better for his pipeopener in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury when taken off his feet on a track riding much quicker than ideal.
The flat boys get their Saturday ‘fix’ at Lingfield, where GALICIAN (1.10) can be rewarded for some sterling recent placed efforts in the Ladbrokes Handicap. Mark Johnston’s tough filly possibly found 10 furlongs just beyond her here last Saturday when third to Dick Doughtywylie and the return to a mile can do the trick. She was just denied by Forgive in a Listed event over this trip in October.
Compare horse racing odds and bet at the best prices