Q1 Jumping action at Kelso, fancy anything?
Good things come to those who wait (allegedly) and Achill
Road Boy (3.40) can land the lucky last.
Stuart Coltherd’s chaser was a good second to a bang in-form opponent at Catterick and sits on a good mark if first-time blinkers work their magic. Tim Vaughan’s Prince Charmin’ (1.35) will be fit after a recent spin on the flat and this looks a decent opportunity to get back on a winning thread over hurdles. Also has the assistence of champon jockey Richard Johnson.
Mount Mews (2.05) is back to five pounds below his last winning mark. Provided Doanld McCain has him hard-fit for the handicap chase, he must go close.
Q2 Do you have a pick on the fibresand at Southwell?
Course form is a must at this dust bowl so I’m siding with Michael Dods’
Mininggold (1.25). The sprinter saves his best efforts for today’s track and trip and can shrug off a 7lb hike under skilled apprentice Paula Muir.
Thunder Buddy (2.30) won at the track 10 days ago and a follow-up success would be no surprise. Raised 5lbs but apprentice Rhona Pindar helps ease that burden.
Azari (1.55). The seven-year-old has won twice over course and distance since switching to this surface and the 6lb rise in the weights may not be an anchor.
Q3 Irish card at Punchestown. What’s the best bet?
Jessica Harrington’s Whisperinthe
breeze (2.20) has been building towards a big run recently and is well worth punting in the Amateur National.
A Plus Tard (1.15) and Swordsman (2.50) can land the two graded races. The novice chase at 1.15 is a tricky one to call but Gordon Elliott saddles five and Gun Digger looks like the one to be on. His victory at Leopardstown over the festive period was impressive and there could be more to come.
Felix Desjy (2.50) hasn’t quite lived up to his bumper promise yet over hurdles but has still shown a good level and can spring a surprise in the Moscow Flyer Novices.