Timeform Radio Racing Tips: Keep faith with Val Mondo

Timeform Radio Tip RSS / / 23 February 2012 / Leave a Comment

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Dan is backing two at Lingfield this afternoon

Dan is backing two at Lingfield this afternoon

"Even better value than Val Mondo could come in the shape of Mr Hooper in the extended 19f novice hurdle at 14:20."

Timeform's Jumps Editor Dan Barber sticks to what he knows best - whilst also strongly recommending everyone pays close attention to Dubai expert Stephen Molyneux's Smartplays for bets on today's Meydan card - on a busy Thursday afternoon.

A few years back, the horse in question was called Maria Antonia and, until yesterday, Faasel was another prime example; my horse; the one that can't run without you backing it; the so-called path to the poorhouse.

I'm worried that Val Mondo (16:20) could be the latest 'one', as he provided a race-reader's dream when shaping so well at Lingfield only to bump into a suddenly much-improved sort (Magic Prospect) on his subsequent handicap debut. That could be the cue for a string of frustrating near misses at the hands of other surprise packages, but Val Mondo still has to be kept on side from a mark only 5lb higher. Not only is that latest Taunton form really strong, but Val Mondo also has Flat form that implies he'll prove a lot better still; how many of his ten rivals today could, for instance, have won a German St Leger?

Even better value than Val Mondo could come in the shape of Mr Hooper in the extended 19f novice hurdle earlier on the card (14:20). His absence since last March is something of a worry, but his impressive defeat of the likes of Gospel Preacher, Mike Towey and Black Thunder in a Chepstow bumper on that sole previous racecourse appearance marks him down as the best horse in this race, while the fact he receives 7lb from the relatively ordinary pair of previous hurdles winners is another boon. His lack of experience is very much factored into his price.

The final race which interests me most today is Huntingdon's opener at 14:00. Admittedly, Dreambrook Lady is a fast-improving mare who would have taken her handicap record to 2-2 at Chepstow last time had she not falled at the last, but that was a decidedly weak affair whichever way it's sliced. A better play is to split stakes on handicap newcomers Zennor (classy Flat performer who shaped well amongst good horses in jumpers' bumper at Kempton latest) and Spoil Me, the latter a classic Jonjo O'Neill-trained sort who very much caught the eye at Huntingdon last time.

Recommended Bets
Back Val Mondo @ [3.35] in the 16:20 @ Lingfield
Back Mr Hooper @ [3.95] in the 14:20 @ Lingfield
Back Zennor @ [7.6] and Spoil Me @ [9.2] in the 14:00 @ Huntingdon

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