Our TipStar champion and Monday columnist has been in fine form in recent weeks, highlighting winners at 12-1, 13-2, 6-1, 5-2, 2-1 and 15-8 across his last four columns. See his latest three selections below.
A quiet weekend of racing in the UK, but Sunday’s card from Punchestown certainly provided a few performances of note.
Dysart Dynamo looked like a relentless galloper as he pulverised the opposition in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle. Plenty of folk will now try and figure out which race he’ll run in at the Cheltenham Festival, but not me. I gave up trying to second-guess Mr Mullins back in 2016 when a tasty-looking antepost slip on Black Hercules for the (then) four-miler was torpedoed by a late switch to what was formerly the JLT Chase over 2m4f!
For what it’s worth, I see no reason why after that performance you would feel the need to go up in trip. Down at Seven Barrows, I do wonder whether Nicky Henderson might start to give real consideration to the idea of splitting his two smart novices – Constitution Hill and Jonbon?
Bob Olinger certainly improved on his second start over fences and defeating Capodanno in that style is no mean feat. However, I’m still not convinced by his jumping - particularly in the middle part of the race - and would like to see him again before deciding whether to jump on the Bob Olinger train or whether to let it pass me by – as I did last season much to my cost!
This coming Saturday could see Shishkin and Energumene clash in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Let’s hope they do face off as it’s exactly what racing needs. I have fond memories of watching Moscow Flyer, Well Chief and Azertyuiop do battle away from Cheltenham, so any chance to move the entire focus of the winter calender away from four days in March appeals to me.
I have three selections for Monday from Chepstow and Fakenham.
1.00 Chepstow: The Lion Dancer
He has often looked a very deliberate jumper of a fence, so maybe reverting to hurdles will help spark some enthusiasm at a course where he has recent winning form.
The Lion Dancer is undoubtedly a talented performer in this grade, but he’s also the very definition of an enigma and has days where he just doesn’t fancy it - as evidenced by the number of P’s in his form as well as the somewhat amusing occasion when he dragged Gavin Sheehan into the trees at Towcester when running out.
Virtually all of the runners here have gone some time since showing any form at all, so I hope that The Lion Dancer might put his best foot forward after the benefit of a recent run and I’m prepared to chance it at a big double-figure price.
2.00 Chepstow: Farne
I expect her to prove a class above these provided natural progression from her first experience of jumping fences.
Farne made her chasing debut in a Listed mares’ chase at Warwick and acquitted herself well. She wasn’t ideally positioned after a mistake at one of the fences down the back, yet she stayed on well to be beaten eight lengths by The Glancing Queen - who went on to frank the form when finishing second in the Grade Two Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Farne won here impressively on her final start of last season and the long straight and stiff finish looked to play to her strengths, so I expect this to be a more suitable test than Warwick.
Frenchy Du Large looks set to go off at a short price and he was certainly impressive last time, while his jockey Charlie Deustch and trainer Venetia Williams remain in excellent form. However, this looks a much more competitive race and I’m keen to take him on.
2.50 Fakenham: Bolt N Brown
I think Bolt N Brown is unexposed at this trip and hope she can gain a belated second win over hurdles.
She certainly didn’t look to enjoy jumping fences last time and delivered a series of sketchy jumps before eventually falling, yet while she can be hard work in her races she more often than not finishes to good effect so this return to three miles looks the right call.
Bolt N Brown’s mark has slipped to a career low of 88 which surely gives her a chance – it was only 10 months ago that she was competitive off a mark of 102.
Nick Scholfield is riding better than ever and will arrive here in good spirits after bagging a Grade Two win on Saturday. He’s an eye-catching booking here.Click here to start your FREE one-month trial of Racing TV!
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