Today's SmartPlays come from Taunton, Catterick and Wolverhampton...
"Saharia has thrived since regaining the winning thread at Kempton in August, having a bit in hand when scoring over 8.6f here last time..."
The National Hunt season is just getting into gear with several of the top guns starting to reappear, and Nicky Henderson pitches Molotov (14:30 Taunton) into novice chase company for the first time today. A useful three-time winner over timber last term, which included landing an Ascot Grade 2 in December, he has the size to make a chaser and is unlikely to lack for fitness now tackling fences.
The Tiger (15:20 Catterick) has seen the racecourse only five times so far, but having stormed home in a similar race at Pontefract last week, Ed Dunlop's well-bred four-year-old makes plenty of appeal here. Racing under a 6 lb penalty for that success, he faces a field of exposed-looking rivals and with testing conditions right up his street (also a winner in the mud at Ripon earlier this year) and with the step up to 1½m likely to prove beneficial, he stands out.
Although called a few names earlier in his career, Saharia (18:10 Wolverhampton) is doing little wrong at present. He has thrived since regaining the winning thread at Kempton in August, having a bit in hand when scoring over 8.6f here last time and should go well again, with recent evidence suggesting the extra furlong will prove no hindrance.