Alan is now looking for a third consecutive winning day on the column as Sparkalot did the business for him at Kempton last night. Today he has two selections from the mouth watering cards at Cheltenham and Doncaster...
"Conditions are perfect, he's lightly raced, remains with huge amounts of potential and in a smaller field I can see American's front running tactics working well."
Back American @ 5/1 in the 14:25 Cheltenham
Harry Fry's eight-year-old was unbeaten over fences last season in three runs and was especially impressive when winning at Uttoxeter in March. He should have taken his place in the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival a few days earlier but was forced to miss out due to the ground, but he put in a perfect performance when running away with the Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter on the Saturday following the festival. But they will only run this horse when the conditions are right and they get those conditions again today, he's lightly raced, remains with huge amounts of potential and in a smaller field I can see American's front running tactics work well and he could very easily have a couple of these in trouble with his jumping ability.
While American can't have been right in the Ladbroke on his reappearance he is well worth another chance and I can't see the Fry team not having him right for this. He looked all set for the top over fences after the way he won all his chases last season and I think he can be forgiven that last start. There are some decent contenders in this of course, none more so than the market leader Bristol de Mai especially if this softer going brings him back to his best he will be tough to beat but at 5/1 I am more than happy to side with American today.
A field of 14 go to post for this Listed Chase at Doncaster on Saturday and I like the look of Lami Serge, the money has been coming for Nicky Henderson's eight-year-old, I don't think it is misplaced and with the booking of Davy Russell is certainly an interesting one by connections. He can be temperamental at times but if anyone can get him right and keep him focused then Davey Russell can. He ran well in Grade 1 company over hurdles, finishing second to Sam Spinner and is now returning to fences off a very lenient mark. The last time he ran off a mark this low was in the County Hurdle at the Festival when he went down by just a neck to Artic Fire.
It is of course a highly competitive handicap and Wakanda looks especially well in, He was excellent on Boxing Day when beaten only by a head in a Grade 3 race. He's now just 3lbs higher than that but he's still below his last winning mark. Conditions are ideal for Sue Smith's charge and I am not expecting him to be far away but I still favour Lami Serge in the hands of Davey Russell to take this.