Bollinger can be the toast of Edinburgh
Back Bollingerandkrug @ 5/2 in the 13:05 at Musselburgh
Filanderer was a fine winner for us yesterday at a decent BSP, drifting out nearly double to 10.23, and it's the very reason I like backing in bumpers with knowledge of pedigrees and family lines. It doesn't always work out that way, but I never shy away from a bumper!
Trainer Lucinda Russell has been kind to the column in recent weeks - although we could have done with her Prince Dundee beating stablemate Buddha Scheme the other day, but her young chasers going up in trip are always worth a look.
Bollingerandkrug is her runner in a pretty weak race, and I'd rather back him than the favourite Pitempton Power.
He only ran five times over hurdles but did win twice at Kelso on two different varieties of ground as a novice, but the trainer has wasted little time in getting him over fences.
His chase debut over 2m5f at Ayr behind Dorking Boy was a pleasing effort after a break, and he was back again at that Scottish venue to run in a deeper race than he faces today behind Dreams Of Home. That was a 0-140 over 2m on good ground, and while the pace appeared to be fairly true, it looked too much of a test of speed for him.
As a relation to three miler Loose Preformer, going back up in distance today will be more suitable. This represents a drop in grade and should be able to continue Russell's fine stats at Musselburgh this term with 5-14 at 36%.
Tommy to let Christopher know the score
Back Tommy's Oscar @ 16/5 in the 14:10 at Musselburgh
In a pocket in Northumberland, in the village of Capheaton, trainer Ann Hamilton rides out her own horses with husband Ian watching on. Ann is 73-years of age and also runs a cattle and sheep farm, but she has ruffled a few feathers in the big races with her red and green livery and Tommy's Oscar can hopefully give her another success. He's one of just five horses in the stable.
Indeed, it's been a good few weeks for the Hamiltons, as Bavington Bob won at Newcastle and Pay The Piper ran a grand race to finish second over Christmas. Her strike-rate is 7-20 this season and six have placed, so we should have a bit of confidence in backing Tommy's Oscar.
He's been a win machine over hurdles thus far, and landed a nice prize on Betfair Chase weekend at Haydock with a visually impressive performance to score going away by 10L. The better ground there helped him at the 2m4f trip, but the way he closed up ground as Calico injected some pace was impressive. The long straight saw him career away and his jumping of the last three flights was exemplary. His pace to get to the leader was backed up by the clock with two splits of 13.42 and 13.70 at the 2m to 2m1f point.
Doncaster was his next calling to win from 147 off top weight, a smart performance down in distance and a rise of only 3lb might not be enough.
Christopher Wood looks a danger as I backed him in the same Haydock race, but he looks as though he needs a sound surface. But he is a Scottish County Hurdle winner, and was backed from 6s to 4s last night.
However, I feel I would be cheating on the likeable Tommy's Oscar with Christopher Wood, as the selection likes it in Scotland with a win and second from his two visits to Musselburgh - one of those was a handsome win by a big margin in a 0-130. So hopefully we can have the last laugh.
Happy New Year to you all.