TV TIPS (SATURDAY)
13:45 Lingfield Park
We take to the polytrack for the first race of today’s Channel four previews with a five furlong sprint.
Muthmir makes his all-weather debut after some very impressive runs in group company last year; his time away from the track would usually be a concern but there are others here that are doing exactly the same which he beat last time out but it’ll all depend on how he strips fit for this today.
Boom The Groom won a class two event at Wolverhampton five days ago and can run off the same mark for this today, he’s really relished the drop in weight recently and should go close once again.
Gamgoom has been knocking on the door as of late since returning back from France where he dominated a field over this trip and with them recent runs also should do well here and could take all the beating if getting away from the field early.
Line Of Reason can never be overlooked but he’s not shown much since his win over in Ireland back in June; he should of benefited for his long rest but he usually needs a couple of runs under his belt before firing.
Gamgoom (E/W if 9/2+)
14:00 Kempton Park
We travel just 40 miles up the road to Kempton for our second preview a Grade two juvenile hurdle over two miles.
Paul Nicholls has won this race twice in the past six years with Zarkandar and Irish Saint who have since gone on to be two great representatives for the yard. He places two of his new comers for this today with Zubayr and Pilansberg, the former featured in a flat race over in France where he only managed to finish fourth but with the money coming in for him so early he must of shown some good schooling at home. The latter is another having his first run in the UK but did show he had the stamina for this trip in the past and could go well here.
Gibralfaro always looks very keen in the early stages of his racing and it helped alot when the jockey allowed him to get to the front early as he impressed making all last time out and seems to know how to dig in deep to win and does look the one to beat here as he aims for a hat-trick.
Richard Johnson’s ride St Saviour is another looking for a hat-trick after two good wins over fifteen furlongs and should be able to keep Gibralfaro honest throughout the race.
My vote though does side with San Twiston-Davies ride Pilansberg who showed a lot of promise in this type of race over in France and looks good value for money at present.
Pilansberg (E/W if 9/2+)
We make our first visit of the day to Newcastle for our next race a two mile handicap hurdle.
Minstrels Gallery was well supported and duly obliged when battling through the mud at Wetherby two weeks ago but he may not get that sort of going here today with the ground getting better.
Vendor made a couple of mistakes three weeks ago which probably cost him the win that day; he has been raised a further two pounds for this today but if he cant get a clean round today he’ll take all the beating.
So Satisfied has looked very impressive on his last two runs especially when only just being pipped to the post last time out having been raised seven pounds, the handicapper has thrown him up in the weights for that and he may very well be in his grip today.
Heath Hunter may of finished second off his current mark and jockey’s claim last time out but he was over ten lengths behind the winner and this looks tougher today.
14:35 Kempton Park
We are now halfway into today’s Channel four races and we head back to Kempton for a grade two novice chase over twenty furlongs.
A small field of five line up for this event with The Saint James and Mon Successeur looking like they’ll battle it out in the market before doing the same on the track. both of these had terrible runs last time out where their jumping was well bellow par so it’ll probably come down to who’s jumping game arrives for them today but head to head Mon Successeur does look the better of the two especially after his win at Ascot back in December.
Cloonacool has been progressing nicely in novice company recently and even though this looks a lot tougher; he’d be dismissed at you peril as if he continues the way he has he could push these all the way.
The other two are even harder to fancy off there current mark and form.
Mon Successeur (WIN) – NAP
A field of seventeen currently line up for our second and final visit to Newcastle for this four mile handicap chase.
Milborough was this event twelve months ago so it’s no surprise to see him here to try a retain his crown; he has seemingly lost his way since winning this last year after a hike in the weights and even though he’s been given a little leniency from the handicapper he may just still be high enough.
Shotgun Paddy is three pounds lower than he was when sent off favorite for this last year where he unseated his rider; he has though gone on to finish second after a break at Chepstow last month and if he can stay on his feet around here today he could be dangerous off this mark.
Rocking Blues comes here seeking a hat-trick but has never been tried over this distance in the past and with a six pound penalty to negotiate after his win at Kelso nine days ago this penalty maybe the undoing of his winning ways.
Portrait King is back on the same mark when winning this back in 2012 and even though he’s been lightly raced since he still has the stamina within him to get close once again.
Venetia Williams horses have been in very good form this year and she always seems to get at least one winner on a Saturday and in my opinion this is probably her best chance to do so with Summery Justice; he couldn’t get a clear run and had to be switched across the track at Sandown back in December which seemed to cost him hugely but he should be able to make amends here today.
Shotgun Paddy (E/W)
Summery Justice (E/W)
15:05 Kempton Park
Another Grade two event here at Kempton and once again only a small field of five currently line up for this two mile novices’ hurdle.
Winter Escape’s Cheltenham hopes rests on him completing his hat-trick here today; he’s been sublime in both his races to date and it looked like Barry Geraghty only took him off the bridal in his last races to give him some schooling. His jumping is nothing special but the engine under him stands him out in this field.
Marracudja is probably the biggest threat here as he was another who dominated fields last year but came up against two great novices last time out and was beaten out of sight and this could be the case once again today.
Oceane won over course and distance back in October but this looks a lot tougher, that said anything can happen in these sort of races so it would be no surprise to see him finishing well close home.
Winter Escape (WIN)
15:20 Lingfield Park
We head back to the polytrack for our penultimate race of our channel four previews with a Group 3 ten furlong handicap.
Charlie Appleby won this race last year and returns again with the ever improving Festive Fare; he was just edged out by Grendisar last time out but with the latter’s penalty it’s hard to split these two once again.
Furia Cruzada looked impressive over in Italy and even though its hard to deceiver that form to how she’ll fair here she has proven form over this surface and maybe pose a bit of E/W money for John Gosden’s new arrival.
Tullius is a rare entry these days on this surface but has won in the past here over seven furlongs back in 2010; he’s been in a mixture of form on the turf but was impressive in a group two event at York back in July and could go well if bringing that form here today.
Festive Fare (WIN)
Furia Cruzada (E/W)
15:35 Kempton Park
Another big field line up for the final race on channel four a Grade three three mile handicap.
Rockey Creek is four pounds higher than he was when winning this twelve months ago; he’s not found any of that form since and finished along way behind in the Denman Chase two weeks ago when sent off as the clear favorite.
Champagne West looks better suited over shorter than this so it’s a surprise to see him upped in trip here to take this on and off his current mark he looks quite high in the handicap.
Virak is another thats been harshly treated as he’s slowly climbing the weights without being able to get his nose in front.
Theatre Guide looks very well treated as he is on the same mark as when finishing behind Smad Place on his last two outing and even though he finished a long way back in these races there is no horse that really compares to Smad Place here.
Ziga Boy is another that stands out and even though he’s up another eight pounds here for this today but that should still keep Le Reve a few lengths behind and should be in the mix once again.
Thomas Brown takes to these obstacles for the first time and after showing he has the stamina to take on this distance he should be one to note if his jumping is a good as he’s shown before.
Thomas Brown (E/W)
Ziga Boy (E/W if 9/2+)