Our horse racing expert Andy Holding is back with three tips for today's racing including a NAP at Lingfield.
BELLE DE MANECH (best price 11-2) found two miles around a relatively sharp circuit in insufficient test on his latest outing, but now stepping back up to a distance that saw her run out an impressive winner the time before, Anthony Honeyball’s mare rates a strong choice to prove she’s a decent chasing prospect in the making.
Really good on the figures when announcing herself as a mare to follow in her new discipline, the daughter of Vision D’Etat was well-backed to repeat the dose on her return to the West Country venue a few weeks later and although she ran perfectly respectably, at the same time she never really gave her supporters too much hope of justifying her position in the market. She did, however, come home really strongly on the run-in to finish on the coat tails of the main players and with today’s test likely to see her in a much better light, she should be a major factor at the business end if she keeps herself in touch in the first part of the contest.
Paul Nicholls may have considered running Threeunderthrufive in this contest, but the likelihood was it was always going to come too soon after his victory last weekend, but either way, the Ditcheat maestro has a very strong contender in his replacement in the shape of BROKEN HALO (NAP) (best price 5-2) and the seven-year-old is fully expected to complement his recent success at Exeter.
A cracking third on his chasing debut in a hot novices’ handicap at Chepstow, the son of Kayf Tara was rather surprisingly fourth best in the betting in a five-runner affair at the West Country track next time and having jumped well and set a decent tempo from the outset, he stayed on powerfully in the closing stages to win as he liked. Impressive on the eye, his overall time figure and final lap splits confirmed what a useful effort he’d posted (10 seconds quicker than the other 2m3f chase on the card) and with another positive ride likely to be the order of the day, his six rivals will have to put in one hell of a shift to lower his colours.
15:15 Market Rasen
BUSTER VALENTINE (best price 13-2) just came out second best of a dust-up with Schiehallian Munro over the final mile of a competitive handicap at Wetherby last time out, but it was nice return to form by Mark Walford’s gelding and a repeated of something similar should see the top weight go close to maintaining his unbeaten record at today’s track.
A game winner over 2m5f on his last visit to the Lincolnshire venue back in 2019, a good deal of water had passed under the bridge until we saw him again 716-days later, and understandably, he badly needed the run, pulling up after two out when running out of steam. 50 days on, and the son of Ask was back in the fray again and in what looked an extremely competitive affair on paper beforehand, he bounced back to something close to his best. Always to the fore at the Yorkshire venue, the nine-year-old jumped to the front at the fourth last and although he couldn’t quite see off the persistent challenge of the eventual winner from two out, he kept on bravely all the way to the line to finish a creditable second. Nicely clear of the rest, it’s worth pointing out that the race in question not only produced a smart overall time figure, but the final circuit was a whopping 13.7 seconds faster than the Rowland Meyrick won by Good Time Bobby (almost a fence different), so based on that knowledge, he should easily be capable of holding his own at this slightly easier level (0-125 compared to 0-140).