Alan Thomson’s Tips: Six of the best for Saturday

MRF17_Cheltenham_3

AFTER an 8-1 winner on Friday Alan is hoping to repeat the feat with six of the best on Saturday, starting with his pick of bunch in the Racing Post Trophy.

Doncaster 3.25

SAXON WARRIOR (3.25) can provide Aidan O’Brien with this world record 26th Group One triumph of the season by scooping the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

O’Brien will eclipse the late Bobby Frankel’s previous best if any of his four entries do the business. Saxon Warrior is Ryan Moore’s pick from that quartet and his mount was most impressive when beating Delano Roosevelt in the Beresford Stakes at Naas.

On a line through the runner-up, Saxon Warrior is very closely matched with John Gosden’s Roaring Lion, a clear-cut winner from O’Brien’s useful Nelson in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket. If you don’t fancy backing the favourite at fairly short odds, then Roaring Lion is a solid ew alternative.

Well-touted The Pentagon was a long odds-on shot when scoring at Leopardstown but Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity looks more of a potent threat after thumping Beckford in the National Stakes at the Curragh.

Cheltenham 2.00

Cheltenham’s card has a murderous look about it but, like myself, many punters find their big-field handicaps irresistible. I’ll be playing to reduced stakes.

COOLOGUE (2.00) is the type to catch fresh in the Randox Health Handicap Chase.

Indeed, Charlie Longsdon’s gelding won this race last year and runs off the same mark under the same jockey, champion Richard Johnson. Coologue also scored on his debut the previous season and will like the prevailing good ground.

Cogry was well fancied 12 months ago but departed at the first fence. Nigel Twiston-Davies will have him spot-on for this second attempt.

Viconte Du Noyer landed the 3m 3f BetVictor Handicap Chase here last November and is only 2lb higher. He is another to go well fresh.

Cheltenham 3.10

SOME PLAN (3.10) could go well at a nice price for Henry De Bromhead.

He held a narrow advantage over Le Prezien when falling two out in the novices’ chase here last November and thumped Road To Riches at Naas in January.

His form tailed off in the latter part of the season but he comes here with the benefit of a pipe-opener on unsuitably heavy ground at Limerick.

Le Prezien finished eighth when sent off favourite for the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham festival last March but Paul Nicholls will have him tuned up for his seasonal return.

Sizing Platinum finished runner-up to Fox Norton 12 months ago but has been walloped 12lb for winning by a wide margin at Newton Abbot at the beginning of the month.

Cheltenham 3.45

The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle is always a fiendishly difficult puzzle to unravel but QUARENTA (3.45) is lurking at the foot of the weights for Jonjo O’Neill.

The gelding has sneaked into the race on the back of a 6lb rise for scoring at Warwick and Aidan Coleman will be doing almost his bare minimum at 10st 2lb.

Newbury 2.15

There is some quality action at Newbury and the Group 3 St Simon Stakes looks very open.

Favourite Frontiersman could manage only sixth place last year but the application of blinkers on his last two starts makes him a different proposition.

He won well at Newmarket last time, despite idling in front, but WESTERN HYMN (2.15) could cause an upset under Frankie Dettori.

John Gosden has reached for a pair of blinkers and Western Hymn will enjoy this easy surface. He can improve on last year’s fifth and represents a bit of each-way value at morning odds.

Ray Beckett’s Mountain Bell chased home 20-1 winner Duretto in last year’s renewal but hasn’t raced since that fine effort.

Newbury 5.05

TAWSEEF (5.05) turned a modest 1m 4f handicap at Musselburgh into a procession, making all to saunter home by 15 lengths, and he will take a deal of beating in the finale at Newbury.

The handicapper has raised Donald McCain’s gelding 8lb but his daughter Ella takes off 5lb in this lady amateur riders’ contest. She won’t want to get hooked up in a ridiculous pace battle with another front-runner Glens Wobbly, fourth in this race last year, beaten more than 10 lengths. However, Tawseef stays three miles over hurdles and he gets in here with a featherweight.

Recommended bets

  • Doncaster (3.25) – Saxon Warrior 6-4 Bet365
  • Cheltenham (2.00) – Coologue ew 8-1 McBookie, Coral
  • Cheltenham (3.10) – Some Plan ew 11-1 McBookie, Coral
  • Cheltenham (3.45) – Quarenta ew 12-1 Bet365
  • Newbury (2.15) – Western Hymn ew 16-1 Paddy Power
  • Newbury (5.05) – Tawseef 5-2 Bet365, Coral
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