Timeform UK SmartPlays: Sunday 15 December

Timeform pick out their best bets on Sunday

Timeform pick out their best back, lay and smart stat bets on Sunday...

"...he is fully expected to prove this mark all wrong..."

Timeform on Cloudy Glen

Cloudy Glen - 13:20 Carlisle

Cloudy Glen was progressive over hurdles last season, winning three of his four starts, and made a highly encouraging debut over fences after eight months off when finishing fourth at Exeter last month. He went comfortably like the best horse at the weights, taking to his new discipline as well as could have been expected, but the gallop he set (also kicked on a long way out) ultimately took its toll on his first start at three miles. The drop back in trip now looks a good move and he is fully expected to prove this mark all wrong.

Echiquier - 13:45 Southwell

Echiquier made an impressive start for this yard when winning a novice hurdle at Hexham by 13 lengths in October and he hasn't been disgraced in graded company the last twice. He will likely be popular back in calmer waters now, but could still prove vulnerable to an improver, notably Blackfinch, who finished runner-up to a subsequent winner over this C&D last time. The third from that race also won their next start and he makes more appeal than the likely short-priced favourite.

Smart Stat
Big Bad Bear - 11:50 Carlisle

21% - Nicky Richards's strike rate in early season

Big Bad Bear was a useful bumper winner last season and he has made a promising start over hurdles this time around, building on the promise of his debut when winning a six-runner introductory event at Wetherby last time. He didn't need to improve to get off the mark in this sphere, but it was encouraging however that he was able to run to a similar level faced with a steady gallop down in trip. That form is working out well with the runner-up winning at Hexham earlier in the week and Big Bad Bear is expected to defy a penalty here before moving up in grade.

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