Alan Dudman's last pick scored at a double figure price two weeks ago, and our man is back in the tipping chair for the week before Christmas with Friday selections from Ascot and Wolverhampton...
"He could have a kinder draw, but there are many positives about the horse's chance for this race, especially given how the blinkers have really perked him up, and his yard continues in great nick."
This 0-135 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase looks an open affair, with most of the field holding claims. Ballybolley is certainly interesting on his Grade 2 winning bumper form, whilst the likes of Ozzy Thomas, All Together and Bodega are in the reckoning.
But the selection will be Dusky Lark, and hopefully he'll be a price considering the competitive nature of the race.
He made his chase/seasonal debut two weeks ago in a similar sort of contest at Sandown, and whilst no match for the winner Antony - he performed better as the race developed, having been shuffled back very early after making a mistake at the first fence, and another later on.
His two wins over hurdles last term both were on soft, and one of those came from a figure of 121. So he can certainly score from a 4lb higher mark over fences. For what it's worth; the Taunton success over the smaller obstacles had a certain Grade 1 winner Ar Mad well beaten behind, but we can't get too carried away with that.
Given he should stay well and do his best work at the finish (in ground he likes), he could have a chance with a better shot at running his race - more so than two weeks ago. Tizzard also applies a tongue tie.
17:40 Wolverhampton - Go far backing Alan Bailey's runner
The best race of the evening by far is the 0-105 sprint, with a number of three-year-olds bidding to plunder the near £12K prize.
Many have chances, but the price of 7/1 on Go Far looks rather enticing to me. He's a recent Ayr Bronze Cup winner from a mark of 90, and his trainer Alan Bailey thought he could have won the Silver Cup. Indeed, the Gold was mentioned as a target at one stage of his career.
He's a pretty handy horse on the all-weather and has some fine form around Wolverhampton, and he showed that by winning over course and distance in 2014 from a mark of 94.
His latest run at Lingfield was a decent race and the winner pinged it from stall one. Go Far had no luck; he was messed around at the start, and the very sharp five furlongs there doesn't suit him.
He's a hardened horse in these sort of races, which is why he gets the nod over the younger brigade.
18:10 Wolverhampton - Norton to box clever on Hamis
Milton Bradley's Hamis Al Bin scored at Lingfield on Wednesday, and there's a good chance the six-year-old can follow up at Wolverhampton on Friday evening under a 6lb penalty.
In fact, the success two days ago looks a better race given the class of opponent he faced. Of course it's low grade stuff, but a beating of in form horses Snow King and Major Muscari reads well.
Franny Norton gave him a perfect ride earlier in the week. He was alert to a very strong pace, and to avoid getting caught up in a speed war; he pulled him back to pounce from the turn. It worked superbly, and Norton even commented that he got there too soon. He rides again tonight.
He could have a kinder draw, but there are many positives about the horse's chance for this race, especially given how the blinkers have really perked him up, and his yard continues in great nick.
Friday's Recommended Bets
Back Dusky Lark @ 7/1 Sportsbook in the 13:20 at Ascot
Back Go Far @ 7.6013/2 in the 17:40 at Wolverhampton
Back Hamis Al Bin @ 4.507/2 in the 18:10 at Wolverhampton
Profit and loss (one point each bet excluding advised in-running trades)
Last week total: - 2.40
This week total: 0.00
Running total: +23.45