Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Kempton and Uttoxeter on Saturday. View selections below.
SUN CLOUD (3.50) can give Malcolm Jefferson a welcome pick-me-up by winning the Betfred Midlands National at Uttoxeter.
The Malton trainer saw his normally rock-solid jockey Brian Hughes make a rare blunder on Attaglance at Cheltenham on Tuesday when a split-second decision to switch his mount inside, and being subsequently squeezed out, cost Hughes victory in the novices’ handicap chase. Sun Cloud caught the eye earlier in the season when scoring at Catterick and Hexham and was travelling like a dream when falling in the Eider Chase at Newcastle. The winner, Wyck Hill, reopposes with an obvious chance in what is always a gruelling stamina test, especially on the forecast easy ground. Willie Mullins makes a very rare sortie to Uttoxeter to saddle Are Ya Right Chief and he is sure to prove popular under Ruby Walsh. David Pipe has won the last three renewals (6-1, 11-1 and 25-1) and he mounts a two-pronged attack with old stager Junior and Goulanes.
Lucinda Russell can make her long haul south worthwhile courtesy of KRIS CROSS (2.40) in the Betfred Novices’ Handicap Chase, with Grant Cockburn taking 5lb off the back of her recent all-the-way Musselburgh scorer.
There is some very competitive action at Kempton where SPECIAL CATCH (2.55) is built to carry his big weight in the Betdaq Silver Plate, a handicap hurdle over 2m 5f. Keith Reveley’s gelding found the 2m 2f trip of the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso far too sharp, staying on into third behind Runswick Royal. Special Catch beat Art Professor at Haydock before Christmas and ran third to More Of That, no less, on an earlier visit to the Lancashire track.
THE ROMFORD PELE (3.30) has been lightly raced this campaign but there was plenty of promise to be gleaned from his third to Wonderful Charm at Newbury and an earlier placed effort behind Taquin Du Seuil at Cheltenham in November. With trainer Rebecca Curtis back in form, The Romford Pele is a strong recommendation.
Nicky Henderson has mopped up both runnings of the bumper on this card and has a double entry with LAURIUM (5.50) and Ryde By Knight. Clearly a market check is advisable to gauge stable confidence.
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