Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newcastle and Kempton Park on Saturday. View selections below.
SHOTGUN PADDY (2.55) possesses the class to defy top weight in the historic Betfair Eider Chase at Newcastle. Denied by only a neck in last season’s four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, Shotgun Paddy also thumped Carruthers by six lengths in the 2014 Betfred Classic Chase. Emma Lavelle’s eight-year-old finished third in this year’s renewal of that 3m 5f endurance test and that sets a decent standard. Past Eider winners Portrait King and Wyck Hill boast strong claims, while old boy Neptune Equester could go well at a big price from his position at the foot of the weights.
TEO VIVO (2.20) moves up a grade in the Betfred ‘Still Treble Odds On Lucky 15s’ Handicap Hurdle but looks well up to the task. The grey returned from a long absence to hack up from Bogside at Kelso, then found bang-in-form Streets Of Newyork too strong at Musselburgh last time. However, Teo Vivo would have given this subsequent winner plenty to think about but for a bad peck on landing three out.
LE REVE (3.45) looks sure to run a big race in the valuable BetBright Chase at Kempton. Lucy Wadham has her team in great nick and all Le Reve’s victories have come on right-handed circuits. Le Reve wasn’t beaten far when third to vastly-improved The Young Master at Ascot and he stepped up on that display to put Theatrical Star firmly in his place at Sandown. Easter Day fell at Cheltenham when moving like the winner and the assessor hasn’t altered his mark. Paul Nicholls’ representative is sure to prove popular with punters, as does Fox Appeal.
GOD’S OWN (2.35) has been a shade disappointing since slamming Balder Succes five lengths in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter in November but he can pick up the winning thread in the BetBright Best For Festival Betting Pendil Novices’ Chase. The seven-year-old was sent off favourite at Kempton but came up short behind Vibrato Valtat and Three Kingdoms. This looks a good bit easier.
At much bigger odds, QUITO DE TRESOR (1.25) can give Tony McCoy a nice spin in the BetBright Risk Free Bet Handicap Chase. Lucinda Russell’s southern raiders are always worthy of close inspection and her gelding has been in good form lately, scoring at Musselburgh in January and running third to the relatively unexposed chaser Ifandbutwhynot on a return visit to the Scottish track. Quito De Tresor prefers going right-handed and makes each-way appeal if all eight runners stand their ground.
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