VINNIE LEWIS (2.45) faces some exposed stayers in the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle and should make a bold bid to complete a hat-trick of recent victories.
His stamina kicked in when steadily pulling clear to land the Sussex National over 3m 4f at Plumpton and Harry Whittington’s seven-year-old could well improve yet again given this extreme 4m test. He beat Shanroe Santos and that horse scored at Carlisle earlier in the week.
Sue Smith is a master trainer of strong staying types and Hainan’s third to The Dutchman in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock was made to look even better when fourth Yala Enki thrashed Blaklion in last Saturday’s Grand National Trial.
RAISED ON GRAZEON (3.20) looks hard to beat in the mares’ novices’ hurdle.
John Quinn has booked useful 5lb claimer Ross Chapman for the joint top weight, a winner at Catterick on New Year’s Day before going close on her first start in handicap company at Ayr in mid-January. The mare she beat at Catterick, Kalahari Queen, hosed up at Exeter yesterday.
The feature event at Kempton is the Betdaq Handicap Chase and an each-way bet is advised on live outsider THEATRE GUIDE (3.35)
Colin Tizzard’s veteran easily won the 2016 renewal and finished third to Pilgrims Bay and Double Shuffle 12 months ago. He is 2lb higher here but will appreciate this better ground. The stable is back in form and Theatre Guide may upset a few better fancied rivals.
Acting Lass should go close for Harry Fry and Noel Fehily if stamina is not an issue on his first try at three miles. He was also entered for the Pendil Novices’ Chase earlier on the card but comes here instead.
KHALIDI (3.15) is an intriguing runner in the Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield.
The four-year-old makes his debut for Clive Cox and was last seen running second to Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood when in the care of John Gosden.
Khalidi’s best form on turf has come on a sound surface (runner-up to Permian in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot), so he should be at home here on his initial all-weather start. This 1m 2f trip may be on the sharp side but Khalidi has a touch of class if fully wound up.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Convey landed this big pot last year, prevailing from Pinzolo in a blanket finish. He has a 293-day absence to overcome but is a must for the shortlist.
AY AY (4.25) wins a pretty confident vote in the 1m 4f handicap.
The four-year-old finished second to Contrast in a better event last Saturday and this extra two furlongs should suit the son of Derby hero Pour Moi. David Elsworth has booked Ryan Moore.
- Newcastle 2.45 – Vinnie Lewis ew (11-2, McBookie, Coral, William Hill, Betfred)
- Newcastle 3.20 – Raise On Grazeon (11-8, McBookie, bet365, Betfred)
- Kempton 3.35 – Theatre Guide ew (16-1, general)
- Lingfield 3.15 – Khalidi ew (6-1, William Hill, bet365)
- Lingfield 4.25 – Ay Ay (2-1, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Coral)
Johnb's Saturday Tips
- Kempton 3:00 – Mont Des Avaloirs 5-2 NB
- Fairyhouse 3:30 – Mala Beach 6/4 NAP
- Lingfield 3:50 – Goring 5/2
- Newcastle 4:30 – Acdc 7-2