Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Cheltenham and Lingfield Park on Saturday. View selections below.
DOUBLE ROSS (2.25) is fancied to outrun his loud price in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Trading around 20-1, Double Ross brings plenty of solid course form into the race, having scored twice here last season. On the first occasion, he lowered the colours of Cantlow and Colour Squadron on New Year’s day, with John’s Spirit back in fifth. Double Ross defied a 13lb rise to justify favouritism on his next trip to Prestbury Park and a recent spin at Ascot, when hunting up useful Pendra should have him spot on for this big early-season prize. Nigel Twiston-Davies has booked Ryan Hatch to take off 3lb and Double Ross should be bet each-way, especially with most layers offering five places. Irish Cavalier has been marked up by bookmakers around half Double Ross’s odds and he is the second string to my bow. Still only a six-year-old, Irish Cavalier beat Thomas Crapper in a competitive handicap at the March festival, showing a devastating turn of foot on the run-in, and although climbing the ratings quite steeply, he remains progressive.
Course winners Kings Palace and Boondooma also look sure to figure, while John’s Spirit doesn’t know how to run a bad race in this event. Alan King saddles SEGO SUCCESS (1.50) with each-way prospects in the Murphy Group Handicap Chase over 3m 3f. Twice a winner on soft at Warwick and Wetherby last season, Sego Success would appreciate a drop of rain (heavy showers forecast). He was tapped for toe on good ground at Chepstow on his reappearance but stayed on doggedly into fifth behind Drop Out Joe, a sterling winner again last weekend at Wincanton. Sego Success finished fifth in the four-mile National Hunt Chase here in March and this could turn into a searching stamina test. ATLANTIC GOLD (3.00) has been raised 8lb for his comfortable course win from Mont Choisy three weeks ago and steps into Listed company after recording victories in maiden/novice company. This is a stiff test for Charlie Longsdon’s free-running five-year-old but he possesses a high cruising speed. Aidan Coleman should be able to hold a prominent pitch and there may be more left in the tank.
COPPER KAY (4.05) represents the powerful Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson axis and she has been on my radar since scoring on her debut at Warwick (soft) in January. She was badly hampered when fifth at Sandown in early March and didn’t reappear until last month when readily outpointing Clondaw Cian at Newton Abbot. That runner-up franked the form by scoring at Fontwell last week.
There is some excellent all-weather action at Lingfield where FIRE FIGHTING (3.10) should go close in the Coral.co.uk Churchill Stakes. Mark Johnston’s gelding is one of the toughest horses in training and posted recent victories at Dundalk and Chelmsford before running fourth at Kempton last time (Grendisar fifth). Fire Fighting received a stinker of a ride at Kempton, being continually denied a clear passage down on the rail, and he is at his best when delivered with one long, sweeping run off a good gallop.
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