Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Haydock and Kempton on Saturday. View selections below.
HEATH HUNTER (2.40) can reward an each-way investment in the 17-runner totescoop6 handicap hurdle at Haydock. David Pipe’s gelding takes a slight drop in grade following his fourth to Kaylif Aramis at Ascot in February. The winner was well fancied to follow up at Cheltenham but came down at the third-last in the Coral Cup won by Whisper. Kaylif Aramis was then sent to Aintree and finished second to useful Doctor Harper off a rating of 138. The fact Heath Hunter remains on a mark of 125 makes him of obvious interest.
BOLD CHIEF (2.05) should take the field along at a fair clip in the Corbettsports-sponsored three-mile chase and may prove to be a tough nut to crack. Harry Fry has placed the nine-year-old shrewdly in the past 12 months, with Bold Chief recording victories at Newbury, Ludlow, Stratford and Market Rasen, all on a sound surface. Bold Chief was reappearing from a long winter break when scoring last month at Market Rasen and should be spot-on for this sterner test.
KING MASSINI (3.15) was chasing a hat-trick for Evan Williams when falling at the Cheltenham festival in the Grade 3 handicap won by vastly-improved Holywell and the eight-year-old doesn’t meet anything of the calibre in the 2m 6f handicap chase. The eight-year-old has climbed the ratings but rarely runs a bad race.
The Queen’s Prize at Kempton was always one of the big early-season staying handicaps on the Flat but has been shorn of its significance in recent years since switching to the all-weather. However, there is still a highly-competitive little field going to post for the Betfred-sponsored two-miler, with CLOWANCE HOUSE (5.05) getting the nod wearing first-time blinkers under Jamie Spencer. His form is tied in with Noble Silk as both were edged out by useful Castilo Del Diablo over course and distance last month, but the application of blinds may just make the difference to Clowance House. Course and distance winner White Nile is another with solid credentials.
FRASERS HILL (3.30) returns from injury in the Betfred-backed mile handicap and looks attractively treated if Roger Varian has nursed him back to somewhere near his best. The five-year-old has been very lightly raced but belatedly gets the chance to build on his excellent second to Queensberry Rules in a course and distance maiden last spring. He has been off the course since his setback behind Maputo at Hamilton 349 days ago, so the betting market should give us a clue to his well-being.
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