Today is the final day in the tipping chair for Alan Thompson and to finish his week he has two selections from Huntingdon and Doncaster...
"looks like he will appreciate the step up in trip today and the better ground also looks in his favour"
Back Tea Clipper at 3/1 in the 15:05 Huntingdon
Tom Lacey's charge can defy the 3lb penalty and win again
15:05 Huntingdon - Tea Clipper
This class 2 handicap hurdle can go the way of Tom Lacey's unbeaten 130 rated Tea Clipper, the winner of all four of his starts to date (including winning a point-to-point over three miles). The five-year-old justified favouritism after being well backed to make a winning handicap debut here last time out off an opening mark of 127, he only won by a neck over two miles that day but showed great character after being headed at the last to rally and run on to lead on the line. He looks like he will appreciate the step up in trip today and the better ground also looks in his favour.
He is bred to be a stayer and while he still looks quite raw, he is sure to be better the further he goes and I think he can defy the 3lb rise in the weights and carry on his winning sequence under new pilot Jonathan Burke.
Well Smitten often runs well after a decent break
14:23 Doncaster - Well Smitten
Sam Drake's Well Smitten took advantage of a much reduced handicap mark when he won here last time out over two miles three furlongs in December. That was his first run for the Drake yard after a 157 day break. This time he has had another 55 days off and that won't work against him as he seems to go better fresh, his previous win was at Huntingdon after a 228 day break, and he runs today off 113 which was exactly the same mark as that day at Huntingdon. He still looks well treated on his old form and I think he is capable of making it back-to-back wins for his new yard.
A threat to the selections is possibly Mr Mcgo who is yet to get his head in front over fences. However, Donald McCain's charge was certainly a useful hurdler in his day and while he continues to run well in defeat over fences it's hard to get away with the fact that he is 0-8 and I can't have him today. But, the danger horse for me is Est Illic, I think the youngster in the race is still open to improvement after just two starts in this sphere and looks an interesting runner with Brian Hughes booked.