12:30 Lingfield - Thai's last chance?
Congratulations to Thai Noon for making a third appearance here. For fear of going over old ground, Sunday's race could be more 'high noon' than Thai Noon - and she really ought to win this at 1.855/6.
However, she's been a slow learner, and her performance last time over course and distance again highlighted greenness. There might be an element of trickiness, but she really looks as though she wants 1m2f.
This is a rank bad maiden, and with a couple of no-hopers, a potential uneven gallop will not help James Fanshawe's filly, and she was under pressure last time with five furlongs to go. There are two ways to play her; ask for a higher price in-play, or just be against her in what could be a muddling race.
14:50 Fakenham - Follow the Bears
On my travels this week I've seen various people wearing dodgy Christmas jumpers, for tis the season and all that. But the worst Christmas jumper of them all had to be Dusky Lark from Colin Tizzard's yard. I put him in the column two days ago, but the bet was over after the first fence on Friday at Ascot with an error strewn round. John Constable's 'Leaping Horse' he wasn't.
So here's to a cleaner and more nimbler effort from his stablemate Bears Rails.
The five-year-old only has a handful of hurdles runs to his name, and makes his chase debut on Sunday from a mark of 101. This is a winnable contest, as the obvious one is Bredon Hill Lad - but he's short enough. Micky Hammond saddles Jumpandtravel, but she's only won a selling race over the smaller obstacles and is unproven over fences - like the selection.
But Bears Rails patently wants a trip, and this was evident even from an early bumper at Ascot. There are two glimmers of ability with the horse, but he now should have a chance to show his true worth - over three miles.
It's early days with the ground for him, and as Fakenham tends to ride softer than advertised, he could also improve for a bit of mud.
15:30 Lingfield - Filly appeals on pedigree
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby saddles an interesting newcomer called Epic Emirates in the closing race at Lingfield.
It's handy that Rahyah is in the line-up, as she'll likely be sent off odds-on favourite. She met trouble on her debut at Chelmsford - and that track is a nightmare to read at the moment.
The Dubawi filly is a full sister to Best Of Times - a strapping individual who ran in the 'Cocked Hat' behind top three-year-old Storm The Stars. I don't mind taking a risk on newcomers, especially at 3/1.
Sunday's Recommended Bets
Lay Thai Noon @ 1.3130/100 in-play in the 12:30 at Lingfield
Back Bears Rails @ 4.03/1 in the 14:50 at Fakenham (half point)
Back Epic Emirates @ 4.10 in the 15:30 at Lingfield (half point)