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Alan Thomson has picked out 5 free horse racing tips for Saturdays meetings.
GREAT ESTEEM (4.05) will take a great deal of beating in the opening 1m 4f handicap at Newcastle.
The son of Dubawi was twice runner-up for Charlie Appleby before joining Archie Watson's Lambourn operation. The five-year-old was sent off 4-9 favourite to overcome an absence of 471 days and duly made all to score with something in hand over 1m 4f at Kempton 17 days ago. Great Esteem should prove too strong for chief market rival King Of The South, a comfortable winner from Fair Star over 1m 2f here last month. However, he races off a 12lb higher mark now.
JANIKA (1.50) should go well in the 2m 3f handicap hurdle under testing conditions at Ascot. Nicky Henderson’s top weight is well treated here compared to his mark over fences. His last hurdles venture saw Janika run fourth to Summerville Boy at Cheltenham off a 158 rating, so he should be competitive here off 143, especially if a wind procedure proves successful. Harry Fry’s Lightly Squeeze ran third to Not So Sleepy over two miles last month and a repeat of that form makes him competitive off a 3lb higher perch.
BENNYS BOY (3.00) returns to the scene of last month’s convincing victory and gets the nod in a competitive 2m 5f bet365 Handicap Chase. Dan Skelton’s gelding has been hit with a 7lb rise and although stepping up another two furlongs, he was strong at the finish when powering clear over the last fence. Dashel Drasher enjoyed a soft lead when galloping clear of two rivals here last month and Jeremy Scott’s gelding rates a threat, although this 14-runner contest provides a different type of test.
There is a morning inspection planned at Haydock where ROYALE PAGAILLE (2.40) bids to overcome a hefty 16lb rise in the 3m 1f Peter Marsh Chase. The gelding, a previous course winner, has made a big impression this season and beat Cap Du Nord by more than three lengths at Ascot. The Venetia Williams-trained gelding had more in the locker and wins the vote over course and distance scorer Sam’s Adventure and useful Sam Brown.
The 3m 4f handicap chase at Taunton provides a golden opportunity for YALA ENKI (2.10) to repeat last year’s success at the main expense of If The Cap Fits and Rock The Kasbah.