I ONLY have two selections today as we move closer to the Cheltenham Festival and there are a lot of races that look too much of a puzzle to me or have favourites at unattractive prices.

My two selections however need no introduction as horses that have obliged in the past and are both double figure prices in wide open races.

Newcastle 2.40

The Eider Chase at Newcastle is always a great spectacle and it is usually run on heavy ground making the 4 mile test an absolute slog. It looks like we will have good ground today though and the favourite Vicente has been well supported as a result.

As winner of two Scottish Nationals his claims are obvious but in a big field the current 4-1 is a bit short for my liking. Right at the other end of the market is another old friend in the shape of RAZ DE MAREE.

He is a fabulous old plodder who just loves a test of stamina and you know that if he is in the mood he will be bowling along at the end whilst plenty of others have chucked it.

There seems to be a perception that he wants heavy ground and whilst he has had some great performances on heavy he has also won and been placed on good ground.

He was also 8th in Pineau De Re’s Grand National on fairly decent spring ground. He is a class act in this field and at the current odds I can’t let him go unbacked.

Kempton 3.35

This looks a good race with ten runners where it is tricky to rule anyone out. The two at the top of the market are a bit skinny for me – Talkischeap and Glen Rocco – and I think Adrien Du Pont has an obvious chance as well as Didero Vallis, Romain De Senam at a big price and Walt.

My selection however is an old favourite who is remarkably running for the first time at 3 miles. MODUS has been an inconsistent sort but on his day he is an absolute class act. This step up to 3 miles with Barry Geraghty on board and trainer Paul Nicholls in sparkling form could be a masterstroke if he settles well.

2.40pm Newcastle – RAZ DE MAREE – 1pt each way (28-1, RaceBets – paying 5 places)
3.35pm Kempton – MODUS – 2pts each way (12-1, RaceBets)

16:45 Lingfield - Race: 1
Distance: 1m 2f
Type: Flat
Class: 5
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
Odds
9
Ziggy
9-63

1
Avarice
450759

12
Crestwood
7-87

10
Opening Scene
6-46

5
Yuften
952433

2
Dolphin Vista
042-876

8
Colden's Passion
47-49

7
Maykir
763420

4
Bronze River
0-58809

6
Confils
569-629

11
Reverential
62366

3
Shining Aitch
3928-63

17:00 Haydock - Race: 1
Distance: 1m 3f 140y
Type: Flat
Class: 5
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
Odds
9
Ziggy
9-63

1
Avarice
450759

12
Crestwood
7-87

10
Opening Scene
6-46

5
Yuften
952433

2
Dolphin Vista
042-876

8
Colden's Passion
47-49

7
Maykir
763420

4
Bronze River
0-58809

6
Confils
569-629

11
Reverential
62366

3
Shining Aitch
3928-63

17:10 Royal Ascot - Race: 7
Distance: 2m 5f 143y
Type: Flat
Class: 2
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
Odds
8
Falcon Eight
145/34-1

14
Stratum
10/20-15

4
Stag Horn
34111-4

12
Morando
4247-43

15
The Grand Visir
2432-23

5
Barbados
3246-03

3
Who Dares Wins
76-6260

9
Global Heat
43-1326

6
Calling The Wind
1842-36

7
Cleonte
5-52147

17
Green Book
4623-16

16
To Be Wild
7/8-6822

20
Table Mountain
442144-

19
Single
443212

18
Monete
8/2632-

10
Kloud Gate
427250/

11
Lethal Steps
50400/0

2
Mildenberger
2485-16

13
Scaramanga
22/4325-

1
Withhold
41622-8

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