Monday horse racing tips: best bets from Ross Millar

By Ross Millar@rosscojmill
Mon 6 Feb 2023

After 8-1 and 5-1 winners in recent weeks, Ross Millar bids for a fourth Monday column of profit in a row and lines up three fancies including two from Carlisle. Enjoy all the action live on Racing TV.

The gulf in class between the horsepower in Ireland and Britain was clearly evident this weekend, with the Grade One Goffs Irish Arkle teeming with talent while the Grade One Virgin Bet Scilly Isles at Sandown was underwhelming.

At Leopardstown it was El Fabiolo who proved best, in both the race and of the Closutton-trained contenders for the Arkle in March. He stayed powerfully to the line to usurp Dysart Dynamo, who over raced in the early stages, and Appreciate It who struggled cope with the early pace.

Is it feasible Danny Mullins can find a way to get a breather into Dysart Dynamo at Cheltenham? My ante-post position certainly hopes so while I’m also hoping Appreciate It will now step up in trip. Irish Arkle runner-up Banbridge looks certain to head for the Turners Chase at Cheltenham and given how well he stayed on over this trip he looks to be a live contender.

The performance from Galopin Des Champs in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup served to remind just how much these incredible athletes can develop. He looked the consummate professional staying chaser as he lobbed around on a long rein popping fences with minimal effort, a far cry from the hell-raiser who scorched the Leopardstown turf 12 months previously. There are still some that doubt his stamina for the extended three miles and two furlongs of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but on this evidence I’m fully convinced he’ll devour it.

Stattler gave a solid look to the form and will be better suited by the extra stamina demands at Cheltenham, but I find it hard to see him reversing this form.

Sunday was all about the Chanerlle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle. The phrase ‘lost nothing in defeat’ is often misused, but in my opinion it was perfectly apt for the mammoth effort Honeysuckle delivered as she gave her all to chase home the younger State Man. It remains to be seen where connections feel her future lies, but whatever they decide she has been nothing but brilliant to watch.

State Man is improving at a rapid rate but his biggest test awaits. Can he shake up Constitution Hill at Cheltenham? I doubt it, but I can’t wait to see.

1.20 Fontwell: Gavroche D’allier

He took a sizeable step forward on his handicap debut last time when finishing third and I’m expecting this extra distance to help him find further improvement.

Gavroche D'allier looked to lack the gear change of the two that finished in front of him at Huntingdon but still galloped resolutely to the line, further backing up the impression of his second hurdles start at Taunton that stamina is his trump card after good late work over two miles.

This is a ‘hands and heels’ race, meaning the pro-cush stick can only be used for corrective measures, and that puts an emphasis on strength and technique for the amateurs and conditionals. In Jamie Brace, I believe we have the ideal man on board as he’s looked strong in the saddle whenever I’ve seen him - and never more so than when delivering a determined but ultimately fruitless effort on Destin D’ajonc at Exeter recently. His strength from the saddle can be the difference here.

2.10 Carlisle: Captain Quint

He has finished tamely on his last two starts, but they were over trips that I think stretched his stamina and now back at the minimum trip I think he can regain the winning thread.

Captain Quint stayed on well over this trip when winning on soft ground at Hexham on is return this season and is now just 3lb higher than that mark. I’m expecting the stiff finish at Carlisle to suit him well and he can turn over what will likely be a short-priced favourite.

Escapeandevade is the horse in question and he posted an impressive wide-margin win last time, but that was on desperate ground and in a weak race at Ayr and the 7lb rise in the weights might just anchor him.

4.15 Carlisle: Chris Cool

Since partnering up Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero have enjoyed a steady stream of winners and kept their string in remarkably consistent form, with three winners in the past two weeks evidence of that.

Chris Cool could be another to add to their tally, with this extended three-mile trip on soft ground looking tailor made for him and he can land a first chase victory.

He looked likely to go very close at Hereford in November before slipping up exiting the back straight before showing no ill effects of that unfortunate incident when finishing fourth back at that track last month.

Both of those efforts came over intermediate trips and he was doing his best work in the closing stages.

I anticipate Patient Owner being the horse to beat - he ran well at Uttoxeter on his latest start and that form has received a boost with the third-placed horse winning next time - but I thought the three-mile test stretched him last time and an extra half-furlong here over a more testing track isn’t certain to suit. The remainder of the opposition look largely exposed.

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