Ben Mor­gan pro­vides the TV tips for to­day’s rac­ing

The Racing Paper - - Front Page -

A scot 1.50 - To­day looks a day for the Na­tional Hunt purists. Good fields, good horses and plenty of mud, just what we have been yearn­ing for. The opener on ITV is a com­pet­i­tive event and I fancy DE DOL­LAR MAN to sluice along and build on what was a pos­i­tive first run back.

Evan Wil­liams’ young chaser was a de­cent novice hur­dler be­fore mak­ing the switch to fences last term where he ex­pe­ri­enced mixed for­tunes. He looked good at times but he only saw the track four times so I pre­sume he met some set­backs. Trav­el­ling sweetly on his re­turn at New­bury, he ra­di­ated an aura of a re­formed char­ac­ter be­fore tir­ing late on. The heavy ground is in his favour to­day.

Hay­dock 2.05 - I was bit­terly dis­ap­pointed with BALLYMOY (NAP) after his de­feat at New­bury but hav­ing watched the race a few times I am will­ing to for­give him for his ef­fort.

He has been a horse on a steep up­ward curve, but was al­ways go­ing to be bet­ter suited to a longer trip which he tries to­day. The three which fin­ished in front of him last time are all proper two mile hur­dlers whereas he is a big, strong gal­lop­ing horse who per­haps doesn’t own an elec­tric turn of foot. I can see this trip and track bring­ing about fur­ther im­prove­ment and I am very sweet on him.

As­cot 2.25 - I’ve tried and tried to find some­thing to put up against CALL ME LORD but truth is, I can’t find any­thing which I can make a strong enough case for. When this hap­pens, I find it best to stick with the one you’re try­ing to get beat as it prob­a­bly is the best horse.

Al­though un­proven over this trip, he is a wor­thy favourite given what he showed at Sandown on the fi­nal day of last sea­son. You can knock the form and say

his ri­vals were over the top but since he has come over from France he has had this ‘could be any­thing’ feel to him. The step up to three miles could be the key to him.

Hay­dock 2.40 - This will be a test­ing race and the win­ner will sleep well tonight. Mud­lark TES­TIFY could be the one to be on as he has a touch of class which will help him shoul­der top weight. Don­ald McCain’s charge would have needed his open­ing run back so a poor ef­fort is eas­ily ex­cused. He has al­ready racked up a cou­ple of course and dis­tance wins on sim­i­lar ground and that ex­pe­ri­ence will stand him in good stead.

As­cot 3.00 - Gold Present is favourite but is eas­ily op­posed as he hates soft ground. Thomas Pa­trick loves the sur­face but has ques­tions to an­swer after a dis­ap­point­ing run in the Lad­brokes Gold Cup. He could get an easy lead though, and there­fore he rates a big dan­ger.

I’m sid­ing with JAMMIN MAS­TERS how­ever, after he looked a much im­proved horse on his re­turn at Carlisle. War­ren Greatrex has al­ways said he would be a de­cent 3 mile chaser on soft ground and he looks to be cor­rect. He made good ground at Carlisle un­der a hands and heels ride from Richard John­son and if he can tidy up his jump­ing he should be bang there.

As­cot 3.35 - The se­cond and third ofthat Ballymoy race re­op­pose here. It was tough to split them as Lisp has bags of scope but MONT DES AVALOIRS (NB) looks a real classy type and trav­elled beau­ti­fully in that New­bury race.

He looks a strong, solid horse who pos­sesses a high cruis­ing speed. Paul Ni­cholls rates him highly and al­though he will only live up to his po­ten­tial when he meets a fence, I sus­pect there is a good hur­dle race in him be­fore­hand. At 14/1 he rates a crack­ing each way bet.

BEN MOR­GAN on the TV races

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