• Fri 20 May, 2022
  • 14:46 BST
  • 10:46 EST (BST-4)
  • 16:46 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Haydock, Ascot and Lingfield Saturday.

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MIGHT BITE (3.00) can win his mouth-watering Cheltenham Gold Cup rematch with Native River in the feature Betfair Chase at Haydock. Both horses have the big one in March as their ultimate goal, so won’t be fully wound up today, but Might Bite’s superior speed on a flat track can win the day. The ground looks like riding a bit too quick for last year’s winner Bristol De Mai, while Thistlecrack adds lustre to a small but very select field.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT (2.25) was so impressive at Cheltenham last weekend that he is difficult to oppose in the Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle, even though he will go off a skinny price. Tom O’Brien’s only danger at the last flight was a loose horse and First Assignment seems very much at home on the prevailing good ground.

CHTI BALKO (1.50) is worth an each-way interest at a tasty price in the 2m 2f handicap hurdle. He finished fourth 12 months ago (heavy), but today’s better surface will suit. Chti Balko had a very stiff task trying to concede 12lb to progressive Le Patriote in the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial at Ayr earlier this month.

On an excellent Ascot card, IF THE CAP FITS (2.40) can capitalise on the absence of Willie Mullins’ super mare Laurina to land the Coral Hurdle. Harry Fry’s gelding had market rival We Have A Dream seven lengths adrift when chasing home Verdana Blue in the Unibet Elite Hurdle at Wincanton a fortnight ago. Both horses had previously celebrated a winning spree and it promises to be an absorbing match-up.

There is some good all-weather action and Saeed bin Suroor has got his winter team in wonderful nick. Going into last night’s Kempton fixture his previous five runners had finished 1-1-2-1-2 and CARING TOUCH (11.45) can get the day off to a flier at Lingfield. She ran Bobby K close at Chelmsford City last month and the winner beat Mainsail Atlantic at Lingfield last week off a mark of 88. Caring Touch races off 83 here, with Gabriele Malune taking off 5lb, and a first-time tongue-tie is applied.

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