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Dave Nevison's top tips for Thursday: Project Mars looks out of this world

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Thu 20 Feb 2020

2.41 Huntingdon: Project Mars

Moderate stuff at Huntingdon on Thursday afternoon but Fergal O’Brien has an extremely good recent record at the track and seems to know the level required to win around here.

Project Mars returned from almost two years off to run a good race when second at Fontwell on his stable debut and it is quite possible that O’Brien could have improved him.

If he builds on that, he will go close here. The handicapper has not moved him for that promising effort and at his best he was running creditably off 12lb higher for his previous trainer. There are 18 runners so look out for any extra place offers from the bookmakers.

6.00 Chelmsford: Lalania

William Stone was an early supporter of Hollie Doyle and she has rewarded him by riding a good number of winners for the yard.

She won on this one last month and the combination have a solid chance in a competitive event here.

Lalania is well drawn in stall 3 for a horse who, while not needing to lead, is usually up in the van and there may not be too much competition up front.

Lalania is creeping up the weights for her recent efforts but is much more consistent than most in the field and has earned the hike. There will be a day soon for both Nick Vedder - probably at Newcastle - and for Suzi’s Connoisseur but it has been a long time between drinks for the pair and so I will stick with the solid option.

7.00 Chelmsford: Lord Halifax

This horse has had a break since letting down odds-on punters last time at Lingfield.

He is and 3lb higher but his previous easy win at Kempton suggests he may well be a staying handicapper to be with for a while this season.

Lord Halifax had only had a seven-day break before the Lingfield reverse and maybe needs more time as he is still described as unfurnished by paddock judges. I am certainly prepared to forgive one disappointment.

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