• Tue 26 Sep, 2017
  • 11:59 BST
  • 07:59 EST (BST-4)
  • 13:59 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Sandown and Lingfield on Saturday. View selections below.


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FINIAN’S OSCAR (2.25) can provide Colin Tizzard with another big Saturday winner in the 32Red Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.

Tizzard must still be floating on cloud nine following Thistlecrack’s King George Boxing Day romp and Finian’s Oscar made a very pleasing start for top owners Ann and Alan Potts when readily pulling clear of Acting Lass in the Haydock mud last month.

The five-year-old won his sole point at Portrush when trained in Ireland, beating Mr Clarkson, a subsequent winner on his debut for David Pipe in an Exeter bumper.

The main opposition is provided by probable favourite Capitaine and he could well become one of Paul Nicholls’ top novice hurdle hopes for Cheltenham, having mopped up the Supreme Trial at Ascot from useful Captain Forez.

Nicholls spoke earlier this week about his fears for testing ground at Sandown as Capitaine is such a good mover. The gelding was allowed to bowl along at Ascot and similar tactics are likely to be employed.

Celestial Path finished sixth in the Cambridgeshire for Sir Mark Prescott and may struggle to get home.

Nicholls saddles another likely market leader in the mares’ Listed hurdle, with Lifeboat Mona looking to supplement her hugely impressive Ascot victory in November following a 289-day absence.

Runner-up Midnight Sapphire has been beaten twice since, however, and BRIERY QUEEN (12.45) is trading at slightly more rewarding odds.

She looked progressive when outpointing On Demand and Debdebdeb at Cheltenham in the soft last month and has now won her last three starts.

Desert Queen has a high official rating and returns to hurdles after mixed success over fences. She ran better than her finishing position of seventh behind Vroum Vroum Mag in the big mares’ hurdle at Cheltenham in March, leading her field until swamped between the last two flights.

Little separates Hannah’s Princess and Midnight Jazz on their run at Exeter last February, but Midnight Jazz has been in better form lately.

Morello Royale finished last in this event 12 months ago and Venetia Williams’ proven mudlark Tara Flow is of more interest.

LOOSE CHIPS (3.00) looks to have as good an each-way chance as any in a wide-open 32Red Veterans’ Handicap Chase.

Charlie Longsdon’s gelding beat three of today’s rivals in a qualifier here in early November, namely Court By Surprise, Saint Are and Rocky Creek, and Graham Watters gets a good tune out of Loose Chips.

Rocky Creek reversed the form in no uncertain terms in the 3m 4f London National, with Loose Chips weakening into seventh over that longer trip. Third horse Morney Wing landed the Sussex National at Plumpton on Monday, so Rocky Creek’s credentials are pretty obvious, although he is an in-and-out customer. Loose Chips could reassert his authority returning to three miles.

Former Ryanair Chase hero Dynaste has been priced up favourite in some books but he sulked at Kelso and never went a yard for Tom Scudamore. Perhaps he’ll be in a better mood today and the Scudamore/David Pipe combination won this last year with Sol.

Besides Rocky Creek, Nicholls also saddles Aerial, fourth to Gas Line Boy at Kelso on the back of a Fontwell victory, with 7lb claimer Jordan Williams riding.

Nicky Henderson relies on Ericht, runner-up to course specialist Astracad at Cheltenham, and there are slight stamina concerns about them both.

FAITHFUL MOUNT (3.35) will go off at attractive each-way odds in the concluding handicap hurdle.

A fairly decent sort on the level, Faithful Mount set a scorching pace at Sandown in early December and came clear before the home bend. His stride shortened going to the last flight, where a blunder cooked his goose, with Brain Power (winner again since) powering home. Richard Johnson replaces a claiming rider.

Top weight Robinshill was all out to land a novices’ hurdle at Ffos Las, building on earlier successes at Huntingdon and Wetherby.

The dark horse is undoubtedly Nicky Henderson’s French recruit Discours D’un Roi and the betting should give a guide to expectations.

Kapstadt beat Maestro Royal at Cheltenham but the long trip to Musselburgh on New Year’s Day was a fruitless journey when he could manage only sixth place behind Superb Story.

Chocala represents Alan King but probably needs to improve on his second to Strong Pursuit in a Wincanton maiden.

My other recommended bet comes in the six-runner Conditions Stakes at Lingfield with REALIZE (2.20), a prolific all-weather winner over the years, possibly best equipped to land a tactical contest.

You’re Fired is usually held up and may not find Lingfield playing to his strengths, and consistent Alfred Hutchinson is probably a bigger threat. Captain Cat hasn’t been purring in two runs for Tony Carroll.

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Tally Ho

Alan

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