None of today's cards make much appeal from a Placepot perspective, but we will head to Super Saturday at Newbury for a low-risk perm...
"The next to get the nod is the unexposed Smashing who’s won two races on the bridle for Willie Mullins and remains completely unexposed..."
13:20 - Calipto is a very short price and will probably win the opening juvenile hurdle and will probably make it two from two for Paul Nicholls, but the sole selection for today's perm is Seedling, who was second in a C&D maiden in November. There is clearly potential for an improved performance and he should not be discounted as easily as the market suggests.
13:50 - It's a competitive staying handicap hurdle up next and the first to get the vote is Upswing, who was in the midst of giving the promising Champagne West a run for his money at Wincanton last time before falling. He's improved since going handicapping for Jonjo O'Neill and is capable of better still. The other to get the nod is Andy Kelly, who has put in creditable efforts in defeat since winning a Stratford maiden in October. He looks a horse capable of significant improvement and today might be the day he realises some of his potential.
14:25 - It's the Denman Chase up next and whilst Al Ferof has an opportunity to prove himself at three miles the conditions are a worry and it's better to side with Katenko who will relish the ground and represents a trainer in red-hot form in Venetia Williams. He has a highly progressive profile and may surprise a few.
15:00 - We take on a Ditcheat-trained favourite in the Game Spirit Chase aswell, this time in the form of exciting chaser Dodging Bullets. The reason here is that there is a worrying lack of substance to his form and it might pay to keep Module on side who just missed out in the Haldon Gold Cup in November and was a fair fourth at Huntingdon last time in a competitive Grade 2. Another creditable effort is expected today for this likeable type.
15:35 - It's one of the handicaps of the season up next and for that reason three selections will hopefully safeguard us for what looks a tricky 22-runner renewal of the Betfair Hurdle. The first to make the shortlist is recent Ascot winner Irish Saint, who won a Grade 2 handicap with relative ease last time and will suited by the way the race is run; he remains well treated under a penalty. The next to get the nod is the unexposed Smashing who's won two races on the bridle for Willie Mullins and remains completely unexposed. He won't mind the underfoot conditions and is one to keep on side. The last to merit inclusion is Brian Ellison's Totalize, who bounced back in a refitted hood from disappointing in the Ladbroke to finish a close second at Cheltenham last time. If the race is run to suit his style he will sure to outrun his price.
16:10 - It's a tricky novices' chase to finish and the top trio are all very closely matched; however Mendip Express does not look to have reached the peak of his powers yet and showed a liking for gruelling conditions at Cheltenham last time. It was a mightily impressive performance to put experienced handicappers to the sword in the manner that he can win here on his way to loftier targets.
13:20 - 5
13:50 - 4,5
14:25 - 4
15:00 - 4
15:35 - 3,4,20
16:10 - 1
= 6 Lines