My first disappointing week for quite some time last week marked the end of my winter holiday, though I am of the view that all might have been ok if Prime Venture, who was just beginning to make a move, had not hit the deck at Haydock.
My fellow sunbathers were certainly aware of my views and, sadly, I need to win enough this week to buy a new screen for my now unreadable phone screen!
As usual with the jumps season, things wind up gradually towards a cracking day at Cheltenham on Saturday, but hopefully these two might boost my punting funds back up.
Look out for extra places – as advised in my 'be a better bettor' column - as this is a dreaded 15-runner handicap and a moderate one at that, so we might need all the help we can get.
Lily The Pink looks to have been prepared for a belated handicap campaign, therefore it would be no surprise to see her step up on some average efforts so far in this 0-100 handicap hurdle.
This mare won a modest bumper at Stratford last summer and has had legitimate reasons for getting beat when racing from the front, and the back, in her three starts over hurdles so far.
However, she showed promise on each occasion and I am certain her in-form trainer, Anthony Honeyball, who has been operating at a strike-rate of 40 per cent in the past fortnight, will not be disappointed with a rating of 98.
Rex Dingle also takes a valuable 3lb off, which is another positive.
This horse is from a stable yet to train a winner this year, which is a bit of a worry, and he has not been placed in three runs over hurdles. However, that could well change off a very low rating here.
Tim Vaughan’s five-year-old made his debut in a bumper at this course and ran probably his best race to finish second, despite running very green.
He has been flying reasonably high in novices but has run very respectably at big odds and this will be a much easier task in this low-grade handicap.
His sire, Blue Bresil, often produces horses who relish heavy ground which he will encounter on Tuesday.
Dave's top trio:
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