Alan had a well-backed winner at Southwell yesterday and he's siding with a pair of Tom George runners at Newbury on Saturday, including Black Op in the big race of the afternoon...
"He looked as though he needed his run in the Colin Parker on his return at Carlisle recently, and I am hoping he can improve for the 3m2f distance as well."
Back Dex to make his mark first time out
With the ground officially good at Newbury, conditions look tailor-made for Doctor Dex to deliver a performance of merit for his first run of the season. He'll be a decent at price at around 14.013/1 on the Exchange hopefully.
He has a slight question mark against him following a poor effort when last seen a year ago at Kempton, but the ground was soft, and I am convinced this horse needs a drying surface as he travels nicely in his races.
That certainly was the case winning on his reappearance last term, and he scored nicely in a competitive novices' at Ascot, with the third seven lengths behind. He landed that from 126 and is 9lb higher, but this will be only his fourth outing over fences and there's a lot more to come judged on his hurdling rating.
Doctor Dex's trainer Tom George has described him as talented but babyish in his younger days, but with conditions to suit and with a win under his belt from a break in the past, I'll be going Win and Place.
Can George deliver a double with Black Op in feature?
I am clearly hoping for a good day for Tom George's yard by picking out Black Op in the Ladbrokes Trophy, and if you are playing on the Sportsbook, there is also the added bonus of the EXTRA PLACE SPECIAL.
This horse has long held the look of a potentially high-class chaser. He was a quality hurdler too with a rating in the 150s with form against Samcro in the Ballymore and a Grade 1 victory at Aintree.
In terms of his chasing career, his record is 1-6 and whilst he is a lot better than that, his two seconds behind Champ and Slate House in top company doesn't read too badly. I thought he jumped well at this meeting last year as a novice in the Grade 2 Berkshire over a trip that was perhaps a touch on the short side at 2m4f, and he can win races from his current rating over fences.
If he can cut out errors at crucial stages (which manifested again at Kempton in the Feltham) he can put in a bold show. He looked as though he needed his run in the Colin Parker on his return at Carlisle recently, and I am hoping he can improve for the 3m2f distance as well. He had been mentioned as an RSA horse so there's hope he'll see it out.
Black Op has plenty of form in testing conditions which he won't be granted on Saturday, but he did won a bumper on good in his younger days to offer encouragement on that front.
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Alan Dudman's P & L
2020 Overall: -23.59
*All bets to a 0.5pt stake unless stated otherwise
2016-2019 P&L: +70.03
2020 Festival Bets Of Day (Ascot & Cheltenham): +17.60 (1pt stake)
2020 Irish Racing Tips: +34.20 (1pt stake)