Sam Turner guides Oddschecker readers through Saturday's live Channel 4 races.
Muthmir is a fascinating contender on his return to action, but he is yet to tackle a synthetic surface in competition and stall one may prove to be an awkward gate if there is any sign of him being ring rusty.
With Take Cover drawn a little wide in stall 10 on his comeback there could be some value in the likes of GAMGOOM
both of whom have speed to burn and arrive at this race both in excellent form and race fit. The former has adapted to UK racing in style and could be a dangerous adversary if allowed to dominate as he did last time when agonisingly overhauled late on by Rivellino over a furlong further.
Lightscameraction was fourth that day but is much more effective at today’s trip and is worth supporting given his C&D stats read 411.
Gamgoom - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/1
Lightscameraaction - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/1
Paul Nicholls sets punters a poser with two unraced juveniles in the shape of Zubayr and Pilansberg and reports suggest there isn’t a great deal between them at home.
has experience of the track and is now rated 151 which means the newcomers will have to be of an extremely high standard to lower his colours, even if he must concede weight all round.
Gibralfaro - 1pt @ 11/10
Lightly-raced and less exposed than some of his rivals, CAPE CASTER
may appreciate the switch to a stiffer track and appeals as a well-handicapped candidate for a winnable handicap.
The five-year-old is going to be fresher than most and his latest effort when an honourable fifth to the rapidly-progressive Solstice Star at Cheltenham signals he could have a race of this nature within his capabilities. Vendor would appear the chief danger after another solid performance behind Shrewd in a warm Musselburgh handicap last time.
Cape Caster - 0.5pts e/w @ 15/2
With a record of eight wins from his 11 runners in the race, Paul Nicholls is clearly a trainer to be feared in the Pendil Novices’ Chase.
The angle of a horse with handicap form returning to the novice ranks can be a profitable one given the experience they garner so MON SUCCESSEUR
could be the answer.
The extended trip appeared to find out the selection at Cheltenham on very heavy ground last time and he should be more effective returned to today’s trip.
Mon Successeur - 1pt @ 9/4
This doesn’t appear a race to go overboard about punting wise, but veteran PORTRAIT KING
may outrun his price in a contest which looks a tough one to solve. The 2012 winner has found life difficult since his victory in this race, but there have been glimpses of promise in the past 12 months that suggest he is capable of rolling back the years. The 11-year-old races off a handy mark here and the booking of Brian Hughes should suit a horse with his running style.
Portrait King - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1
It is hard to put a figure on quite how good WINTER ESCAPE
could be. Alan King’ five-year-old has won both of his Doncaster starts in facile fashion and the fact he is kept to a flat track and relatively decent ground looks a smart move. The presence of Marracudja should ensure there is a decent pace and Winter Escape looks tough to beat.
I would expect a better showing from Welsh Shadow now he tackles better ground and, although beaten 49l by Yorkhill last time, the Tolworth Hurdle has worked out incredibly well form wise with O O Seven, Agrapart and Cyrius Moriviere all winning sine.
Winter Escape - 1pt @ 8/11
Festive Fare and GRENDISAR
fought out the finish of a C&D Listed event three weeks ago and many might fancy the former to turn the table now he sports the cheekpieces for the first time. However, Grendisar boasts form figures of 211123221 over 10 furlongs at today’s venue and his record with Adam Kirby on board is pretty special so he is taken to confirm placings with the prospect of a good gallop to run at.
Market support for Argentinian recruit Furia Cruzada would be interesting given his new connections.
Grendisar - 1pt e/w @ 3/1
With a record of six wins from 16 starts on right handed tracks, plus a record at Kempton of 122, LE REVE
is fancied to improve on his second place in this event 12 months ago. He again displayed at Sandown that he is a force going this way round and there could be further improvement to come if the blinkers work as well again.
Quite what level of performance RUBEN COTTER
is likely to produce following a 323-day absence is open to question but he was an impressive scorer when he ran at this track after a 469-day spell on the sidelines two starts ago and is worth risking at a big price with his yard in such a rich vein of form.
Le Reve - 0.75pts e/w @ 9/1
Ruben Cotter - 0.5pts e/w @ 16/1