Race To Cheltenham: Kevin Blake's first tip to build your £50 Festival betting pot

Chelmsford City racing action
A winner is a winner whatever surface it runs on

The big freeze put a stop to Newbury and it's all-weather to the rescue! Luckily, Kevin Blake loves a bit of sandy action as he begins his Race To Cheltenham to build a £50 pot with Betfair

"Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him win."

This isn't the Saturday we thought we were going to get, as the weather has come in like a wrecking ball and made bits of the racing action. The all-weather has come to the rescue, however, and the ITV cameras will now focus on the action at Chelmsford and Lingfield. It isn't the most high-class racing action to ever be showcased on terrestrial television, but each race will produce a winner and hopefully I can find one or two of them as I place my qualifying bets on the first weekend of Betfair's Race to Cheltenham promotion.

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Palmer and Moore can score

With the weather claiming cards across the land, even taking the all-weather action at Chelmsford, I am focusing my efforts on one race - the Betway Casino Handicap (15:10) at Lingfield and the horse I like is the Hugo Palmer-trained Convertible.

The four-year-old is less exposed than most of these and while he has taken time to find his feet in handicaps, his last two runs over this course and distance have been promising. The most interesting of those runs was unquestionably his latest one, as for me he shaped better than the bare result.

The mile-and-a-quarter start at this track is notably close to the first bend and having missed the kick by a couple of lengths from the widest stall, Convertible got caught four wide and ended up doing a fair bit of running to get to the front after a furlong or so. Once there, he seemed to enjoy what was his first opportunity to make the running thus far in his career. He kicked for home off the final turn and looked likely to win only for those early exertions to catch up with him late, with him fading to finish third.

There was sufficient promise in that run to encourage his connections to persevere with front running with him and stall one is a much better draw to execute such tactics from today.

Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him win.

Ryan Moore close up 1280.jpg

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