Free Tips (3m+ hncp chases)
(Free tips 2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018, 9/101,31p, +55)
2.30 Lingfield – Holbrook Park – 1 point win – 10/1 (general) 2nd. Decent effort, can’t complain with that, sadly more unexposed/younger/race fit one saw it out when i hoped he may not. Thought when he kicked for home that was game over, but no excuses, he’s run his race, jumped well and got a cracking ride. He’s worth tracking as has more chases in him, his prominent style and jumping will take him close in plenty, and he may be worth a go over marathon trips.
I don’t want this one to drift much past 10s, and ideally he’ll get nibbled in as the race draws nearer, as any weakness may suggest he isn’t fit and will need the run, but at the prices he is the bet in this race for me. When looking at a chaser, or any horse I suppose, having their first run of the season you want to see they’ve won after a break before, which this one did, last November after 239 days off. He’s run with credit on his two other returns after similar breaks also, inc in his bumper. He’s apparently had wind issues which they seem to have sorted with two operations and the tongue tie, but there’s always a fear that issue raises it’s ugly head again. When last seen he looked like a progressive chaser in the making, hacking up at Plumpton (he’s worth tracking to see if he returns there, as he clearly likes the place) over further. He generally jumped well and raced handily. The yard are in decent form and King’s had two winners from his last five handicappers making their seasonal reappearance, so it’s very much a case that this one will be fit enough if connections want him to be- hence why the market ‘may’ guide- it may not have a clue of course. This also looks like a track King likes to target given he’s 5/15,6p with all handicappers (all codes) here in the last two years. Jack Andrews knows how to ride a chaser, given he’s 8/34,15p in handicap chases, and must be one of the best 7lb claimers over fences I suspect. Trainer/jockey are 5/21,12p together in the last year, and King is 15/56,29p with horses that won LTO. So, he ticks plenty of boxes for me and he’s a giant of a horse at 18 hands, so the weight won’t be a problem and he’s versatile ground wise, although decent ground appeared to help his breathing LTO. They are due some rain from 1pm so it could be on the softer side come race time here. If he’s ready to roll he should be half this price for me. He is up in class but his last race is no weaker chase form than anything else on offer in this. Time will tell. If he goes to 12s+ i’ll fear the worst, and await for him to return to Plumpton!
Of the rest…well nothing else really looks overpriced. Rhaegar is unexposed, fit and won LTO. He darted violently to the left at times (going LH) and he didn’t beat much, but could step up. But he isn’t overpriced here. Diplomate Sivola is also fit and in form, and open to progress. He didn’t look like he stayed LTO over 22f but I could have read that wrong. He steps up in trip slightly again here and has stamina to prove – as such 3s doesn’t look overpriced to my eyes. But he’s an obvious danger if seeing it out and his amateur owner-jockey is improving in the saddle all the time. (i’ve been a bit too critical of him in the past and he’s left me red faced with some crackers, albeit i’d never want a short price on one of his! For the amount of money he spends he deserves success) I thought the rest had a few too many questions to answer at the prices and if they beat me, so be it.