13:50 Cheltenham

  • Andy Holding has seven selections for today's racing, at Cheltenham, Newbury and Dundalk.
  • Andy is currently 191.89pts in profit for 2020 and 38.33pts in profit for October.

Back Midnight River at 7-2

Ask For Glory is likely to be all the rage here given his sexy profile but his faces an opponent in the shape of MIDNIGHT RIVER (best price 7-2) who not only holds a significant fitness advantage but a strong form line courtesy of his victory on hurdling debut at Uttoxeter at the beginning of the month.

Promising when placed in two above-average bumpers, Dan Skelton’s gelding was well-backed to translate that form over to his new discipline at the Midland venue despite a 246-day layoff and as it turned out, the market got it spot on. Despite given the experienced favourite, Shantou Express, a huge head start, the son of Midnight Legend gunned down his main market rival with a bit to spare and with the runner-up going on to advertise the form, it was clearly a fair effort first time off the bat. Moreover, his final circuit time was by some way the fastest of the five hurdles races on the same card and considering his achievements were orchestrated on the churned up ground right at the end of the day, his performance deserves ever extra praise.

Midnight River - 1pt @ 7/2

14:50 Newbury

Back Wonderous Words at 9-2 & Colony Queen 11-1

Testing ground won’t be ideal for all concerned in this fillies’ handicap, but two that shouldn’t mind the conditions are WONDEROUS WORDS (best price 9-2) and COLONY QUEEN (best price 11-1) and they are taken against the field.

The former has been progressive all season and even though she got beaten at a short price at Ayr last time out, she was victim of circumstances rather than anything else. Asked to close down a strong galloper giving away valuable track position was always going to be a stretch, but she impressed with the way she stuck to her task despite rowing against the tide and at least it proved she still remains in form. An easy winner in a fast time on testing conditions at Redcar previously, today’s examination should see her in a better light.

The latter doesn’t have the sexy profile of the Roger Varian filly, but she does have some solid soft ground form to her name, including a victory in this race last year under similar conditions. Apart from one poor show at Bath in mid-season, she’s been ultra-consistent and her database of speed figures suggest she can easily outrun her morning odds.

Wonderous Words - 1pt @ 9/2
Colony Queen - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/1

15:00 Cheltenham

Back Hijack at 6-1 & Up The Straight 12-1

The race won by Collooney at Fontwell was noted for its strong speed figure and having played significant roles in the final analysis, both HIJACK (best price 6-1) and UP THE STRAIGHT (best price 12-1) are worth an interest against the field in this similar standard handicap.

The former came out best of the pair, finishing a close-up second, and that effort strongly suggested he’s ready to continue on an upward curve this campaign. Twice a winner last season, he didn’t have the quality to keep up with the likes of McFabulous and Co in a hot EBF qualifier on his final start last season, but his overall profile points towards a five-year-old who is fairly reliable at mid-range handicap level such as today’s and a big run looks on the cards.

The latter was also pitched in against some useful novices’ last season, sent to Sandown to contest the Grade 2 Ballymore Winter Hurdle and although he came up short in the final analysis, he went through the race like a better horse than his finishing position suggested. Ending the season with a game win over the smart Flic Ou Voyou at Kempton, Richard Rowe’s gelding should be all the better for his pipe-opener at the Sussex venue 20 days ago and with today’s stiff, undulating track likely to suit based on his easy win at Lingfield last season, he looks overpriced at the morning prices.

Hijack - 1pt e/w @ 6/1
Up The Straight - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

16:40 Dundalk

Back Crystal Dawn at 4-1

Lilandra is one the ratings boys will be all over in this claimer, suggesting she’s well in at the weights, but CRYSTAL DAWN (best price 4-1) is in such a rich vein of form at present that Gavin Cromwell’s filly is just too big a price to miss.

Impressive over six-furlongs here back in August, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle was well-backed to follow up that success on her return visit to the Co Lough venue last week and despite a high draw and slow start, she came through readily in the closing stages to justify the gamble. Clocking good all-round numbers over a trip that suited her run style, the four-year-old has a much better draw this evening and with the presence of the excellent Sam Ewing in the plate, confidence is high she can continue on her upward curve.

Crystal Dawn - 1pt e/w @ 4/1

17:45 Dundalk

Anjalawi my NAP at 11-4

ANJALAWI (NAP) (best price 11-4) has been keeping company with some pretty smart juveniles during her short career to date and she’s strongly fancied to take advantage of a potentially favourable mark in what rates by far and away her easiest task to date.

Well-backed to make a winning debut at Cork, Ger Lyons’ filly found the extended six-furlong trip on soft ground too stiff a test, but she went to prove that those supported her first time out weren’t too far wrong when she finished a creditable third in a much hotter race at Curragh next time. Despite being drawn on the wrong side of the track at the Co Kildare venue, she only just succumbed to the classy pair Monaasib and Magnanimous in the closing stages and with both of those two rivals going on to run well in better company subsequently, the form looks pretty watertight. Having her first outing on tonight’s surface on her latest outing, once again the daughter of Anjaal acquitted herself with great distinction by splitting the useful pair, Zaffy’s Pride and Coulthard, and with winner going on to score in listed company next time and the latter rated 98, it’s easy to come to the conclusion she ran a good bit better than the handicapper’s assessment of 83. Additionally, on all three of her starts, she’s showed the sort of pace to strongly suggest she’s worth a crack at the minimum trip and with her draw in stall 10 ideal for striking down the favourable middle part of the track down the home straight, this classy-looking filly will hopefully assert her superiority over tonight’s opponents.

Anjalawi - 2pts e/w @ 11/4