Alan Thomson has lined up five bets for this weekends racing action at attractive prices.
ONE FOR ROSIE (1.50) can make a winning seasonal reappearance in the 2m 4f Betway Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.
This is a hot contest but Nigel Twiston-Davies will surely have One For Rosie well tuned-up following a 266-day absence. His six-year-old has plenty of solid form to encourage a wager, especially his final start at Aintree in April when he dead-heated with Angels Breath for third spot behind classy Reserve Tank and Brewin’upastorm. Market rival Severano scored over course and distance last month, looking smart in the process, but runner-up It Sure Is disappointed next time to raise some doubts.
The Betway Mandarin Chase over 3m 2f is another open affair with Cobolobo bidding to further boost Jonjo O’Neill recent hot streak. Cobolobo had little trouble handling the mud at Haydock 24 days ago when leading off the home bend to defeat The Ogle Goggle Man. At slightly bigger odds, COPPERHEAD (2.25) should go well for Colin Tizzard after outpointing Fingerontheswitch at Wincanton. A 9lb rise is quite severe but Copperhead is only a five-year-old with scope for more improvement as his stamina kicks in.
ENRICO (3.00) is trading around 11-4 to land the Betway Challow Hurdle and the Paul Nicholls representative may be slightly over-priced against even-money shot Thyme Hill. Enrico looked a stout stayer when bagging a Grade 2 at Sandown and he comes out marginally in front of Thyme Hill through a collateral formline with third horse Happygolucky. The Cashel Man ran his rivals ragged from the front over course and distance at the end of November and will make this a stern test of speed and stamina.
KATESON (3.35) and Tidal Flow may dominate the finish of the Novices’ Handicap Chase, with the former marginally preferred. Tom Lacey’s gelding has shown a distinct liking for Newbury over hurdles, scoring over this trip at the ‘Hennessy’ meeting last November before running a solid third to Champ at this fixture 12 months ago. Kateson made his chasing debut at Exeter and jumped soundly in second spot, two lengths adrift of Earlofthecotswolds. Tidal Flow had 21 lengths to spare over Nicky Henderson’s 144-rated With Discretion in a novice chase at Uttoxeter and he also won at Newbury over hurdles last season.
The sole televised event at Leicester features some pretty moderate handicap chasers and a chance is taken on the four-year-old BELARGUS (2.40). Nick Gifford trains the gelding for JP McManus and Belargus has proved a disappointment since landing an Ascot hurdle in January. There were signs of a slight revival behind Katpoli at Southwell last month and this move up in distance might help.
On the all-weather at Lingfield, ARABIC CULTURE (2.10) can reward an each-way investment in the 1m 4f Betway Casino Handicap. Grant Tuer has had him in terrific heart all winter and after chasing home Big Daddy Kane at Newcastle, Arabic Culture went one better at Wolverhampton last time. Petite Palais, a winner for John Gosden before embarking on a hurdles campaign for new handler Tom George, is interesting returning to the Flat.