Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Sandown and Lingfield on Saturday. View selections below.
TINKER TIME (3.35) can continue his rise through the ranks by taking Unioniste’s scalp in the 32Red Casino Chase at Sandown. Bob Buckler’s seven-year-old hasn’t looked back since defying odds of 33-1 in a novices’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham back in April, beating a decent sort in Be Bop Boru. Tinker Time duly won on his first fencing start, over three miles at Kempton in November, and stepped up again at Newbury last month, beating three useful types in Masters Hill, Easter Day and Walkon. Paul Nicholls’ Unioniste has kept high rank and scooped a Listed contest at Aintree just over 12 months ago. His comeback sixth in the Hennessy sets the standard off an attractive new rating, but he is likely to be priced up accordingly. Previous Hennessy winner Triolo d’Alene bids to get his career back on track under top weight but will do well to concede 16lb to Tinker Time.
BRICK RED (1.50), could well provide the in-form Venetia Williams yard with a winner in the 32Red-sponsored handicap chase. The eight-year-old has a 3lb pull with his recent Exeter conqueror Mr Mole and will be sent off a bigger price than his talented, but occasionally enigmatic, rival. Brick Red was a smart novice, chasing home the likes of Balder Succes and not disgracing himself in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham last March. With eight runners declared, Brick Red makes rock-solid each-way appeal.
LEVIATHON (3.00), another Williams-trained son of Dubawi, could pop up at a juicy price in the 32Red Handicap Hurdle. The gelding threw in a shocker in a Listed event over course and distance in early December but that run may have come too quickly on the back of his previous rout of a decent field at Ascot. Leviathon, who likes to race prominently, had his rivals cooked turning for home that day. Running out a comfortable three-length winner, he had subsequent Cheltenham scorer Starluck well behind in fourth and a reproduction of that run gives him claims in an open contest. Williams also had the absent Dubawi Island entered, which might be significant.
ARABIAN REVOLUTION (12.10) is an interesting runner in the opening juvenile hurdle. Everything John Ferguson touches seems to turn to gold these days and a switch of codes for this son of Dalakhani might well rekindle a faltering career. Lightly campaigned, Arabian Revolution ran a race full of promise when chasing home Second Step at Newbury off a mark of 84 for Saeed Bin Suroor and Kieren Fallon. Unfortunately, he lost his way thereafter and flopped when tried on the all-weather. However, the latent talent is clearly there and this could be the springboard to better things.
At Lingfield, CASTILO DEL DIABLO (2.00) can land the Coral.uk.co handicap for David Simcock and Adam Kirby. The top weight engaged overdrive just too late to reel in progressive Anglophile and Mymatechris over course and distance just before Christmas but races off the same mark in what appears a less competitive affair.
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