14:15 Wetherby

MR WHIPPED (best price 5-1) can build on his encouraging return to action at Wetherby on Boxing Day when he tackles the Racing TV Free For A Month Handicap Chase. The nine-year-old, now trained by Brian Ellison, has had a history of problems but he’s more than capable at this sort of level, especially reflecting on his fourth to Lostintranslation in the Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree. He proved he retained his old ability when an excellent third over today’s course-and-distance on reappearance and remains very well-treated on historical form. The soft ground will be to his liking and Nathan Moscrop can offset three-pounds so, with plenty in his favour, he has a really good chance here. 
Mr Whipped - 0.5pts e/w @ 5/1

14:25 Southwell

ABERAMA GOLD (best price 11-1) was behind a couple of these here last time but he’s defied higher marks in the past and he’s become extremely well-handicapped on last winter’s form. The five-year-old has a good record on the all-weather and has run well/placed in mostly class-two events from marks in the 100’s during his career. That latest effort should have blown away the cobwebs and he’s got a good slot in stall three, too. I think he’s on the verge of making a serious impact off his current mark for connections so therefore appeals most in this wide-open affair and should be ready to run a big race now. 
Aberama Gold - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/1

15:05 Gowran Park

As ever, an extremely difficult but high-quality renewal of the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase, in which I’m going to nominate a couple of each-way suggestions with up to six places widely available. 

CHRIS’S DREAM (best price 20-1) looked to hold every chance last time before parting company with Jonjo O'Neill Jr after the Canal Turn in the Becher Chase and, while the market much prefers stablemate Eklat De Rire, it's the top-weight who interests me most. It’s hardly ideal arriving into such a demanding race with two non-completions next to his name but the ten-year-old is the clear highest-rated in the field and connections have interestingly booked the services of Mark Walsh in the saddle rather than opt for a claimer, who could have reduced his welter-burden. He’s one-from-one over today’s course, where he won a Grade Two from the front and his second in the 2020 Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase looks top-notch form too. It might be asking a lot for him to defy a mark of 162 in such a good line-up, but he’s a class horse on his day and he wouldn’t be the first top-weight in this event to produce a good weight-carrying performance. 

EX PATRIOT (best price 25-1) couldn’t make an impact at Ascot last time but it seemed like connections used that as a preparatory run for a second crack at this valuable pot and looks capable of going well at a huge price. The nine-year-old should strip fitter for last month’s return and he has a low-weight to carry, as well as finding himself two-pound lower than when fourth in this race two years ago. He’s yet to win over this trip but he’s clearly been trained for this assignment again and, if he can produce his best, he might be able to plant himself into the picture once more at double-figure odds with the first-time cheekpieces applied.

Chris's Dream - 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1
Ex Patriot - 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1