Alan Thomson's star bet runs on the all-weather and he backs it up with some attractive wagers over the sticks
ENTANGLING (2.35) will appreciate the step up to 1m 4f at Lingfield and rates a cracking value bet.
Formerly trained by Chris Wall, Entangling made a winning debut for David Elsworth over 1m 4f at Kempton before finding the drop to ten furlongs on the sharp side when a close fourth to Victory Bond here 17 days ago.
Victory Bond is thought good enough to contest the Listed race on this card (2.00) and it will come as a surprise if Entangling is not involved at the business end.
Alan King won this last year with Redicean and relies on top weight Scarlet Dragon, bogged down over hurdles at Doncaster last Saturday but likely to leave that poor effort behind him.
DAKLONDIKE (2.40) should make a bold bid to repeat last year’s triumph in the Betway Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock.
Once again, the track will be riding extremely testing and Daklondike had to dig deep 12 months to beat Ballyarthur, rallying bravely after being headed on the run-in.
David Pipe’s gelding had a blowout in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last month, never showing after being held up, and that run had ‘prep’ written all over it. Daklondike is 7lb higher this year but is just preferred to classy Vintage Clouds and The Hollow Ginge.
CHTI BALKO (3.15) didn’t seem to get home over 2m 2f trip when third to Ballymoy in this contest 12 months ago but is 6lb lower in slightly lesser company.
Donald McCain’s gelding ploughed through the Bangor mud to score by ten lengths last month and is preferred to Poetic Rhythm, returning from a long 414-day absence. Course winner Captain Moirette reverts to hurdles following two respectable efforts over fences.
At Ascot, NOT SO SLEEPY (3.35) slipped his field and maintained a relentless gallop to score over course and distance last month and a similar positive ride could have several of his rivals floundering in the Betfair Exchange Trophy.
Life will be more problematical against 15 opponents but Hughie Morrison has the gelding in terrific heart, winning at Ascot on the back of an excellent fourth to Stratum in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
Although up 5lb for his runaway victory, Not So Sleepy remains at the right end of the weights and handles soft ground. With several firms offering each-way terms for five places, Not So Sleep looks tempting trading around 9-1.
Greatwood Hurdle winner Harambe is closed matched with top weight Monsieur Lecoq on their Cheltenham run and both will enjoy support alongside market principals French Crusader, Umbrigado and Quoi De Neuf.
KILDISART (3.00) is the each-way recommendation in a wide-open 3m handicap chase. He scored over 2m 5f here last December and enjoyed a good season, culminating in a five lengths victory over Mister Malarky at Aintree in April.
Mister Malarky re-opposes on 3lb better terms and ran a decent sixth to De Rasher Counter in the Ladbrokes Trophy three weeks ago.
Ben Pauling has been struggling to find form but saddled a winner yesterday, and Kildisart looks set to build on his comeback third to Lostintranslation at Carlisle in early November.
FIRST FLOW (1.50) has plenty of winning form on a testing surface and makes plenty of appeal in the Plymouth Gin Handicap Chase.
He had a canter round Hereford when scoring effortlessly by 20 lengths last Saturday and probably ran up to his best when chasing home hot favourite Angels Breath over course and distance in November. There was a 24-length gap back to second favourite Birchdale.
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