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Dave Nevison's top tips for Friday: Side with the Champs at Exeter

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Fri 21 Feb 2020

Looking out of my window at the time of writing, I have my doubts about the meetings live on Racing TV on Friday going ahead as the weather is desperate, but if it is almost unraceable, it is time to start looking at horses trained by Kerry Lee and she sends out a couple. I hope at least one will go close on Friday afternoon.

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3.20 Exeter: Ashfield Paddy at 5-2 with Bet365

The handicapper has had plenty of time to look at this one’s mark and I think he has been remiss in leaving him on a rating of 117 judged by his latest run.

It was an uncharacteristic and modest tactical-ride by his excellent young jockey at Ascot and he might have won another day.

However, he still finished a good second on the day and the fifth and sixth have both gone on to land decent handicaps since.

This is a competitive race but I believe Ashfield Paddy is running out of his grade and will improve past these. He is proven on the ground and very much looks as though the longer trip will not be a problem.

3.35 Warwick: Kilcrea Bridge at a general 3-1

Kilcrea Champs has been beaten off his mark on his past three runs which have been over hurdles and fences, and that would not normally be that inspiring, but his latest effort over a marathon trip at Sedgefield was a good one and looks the best on show here by some way.

In a hands and heels race, jockey bookings are key and young William Marshall - who is based with Dan Skelton - might be a shrewd move. It is tought to see the consistent Kilcrea Champs not running well and he could well break his maiden over hurdles here.

4.20 Exeter: Ice Cool Champs at 7-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair

Has been raised 10lb for his win at Wetherby last time out but it was impressive enough and I believe that the home straight at Wetherby is seriously punishing when conditions are testing and only horses that really stay see it out.

Kerry Lee’s nine-year-old did so in style and might have more upside than some familiar old stayers here.

The wind op and application of a tongue strap need to work for a second time here, but the rise is offset slightly by the excellent Richard Patrick and just backing Lee’s runner blind in the conditions is a winning ploy in itself.

4.40 Warwick: Cloudy Glen at a general 3-1

This horse should not really be running off a rating of 135 as he looks to have considerably more talent than that mark suggests.

Unfortunately, he is headstrong and that surely prevented him from winning last time out. He is up against nothing that isn’t exposed and a few who are even more disappointing here plus is so well handicapped that I have to give him one more chance.

I hope the Charlie Deutsch will be wise to his antics here and get him settled. The drop back down in trip should certainly help.

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