Search For A Tipster winner Karl Hedley has been in fantastic form with his weekend tips and he’s back today to give his best bets in every Saturday race on ITV
Definitly Red gave weight away all around in the Charlie Hall Chase when trying to retain his crown at Wetherby. Unfortunately, he wasn’t fully wound up for the challenge and became a little outpaced four from home. Despite that rather disappointing effort, it certainly should have freshened him up and Brian Ellison will have him razor sharp for this.
The softer the ground the better his chances, as the ten-year-old has plenty of winning form under similar conditions. He has won on two of his last three visits to this particular track and he specialises at this trip, having won five times from eight attempts. Henry Brooke replaces Danny Cook in the saddle but has won on him in a similar grade in the past. The duo are certainly worth their place iin the line up and have each-way claims.
Definitly Red remains 4lb lower in the ratings than when recording his last success over this course and distance in the Many Clouds Chase last December. Having won at a higher level than thjs in the past, he commands a second look.
Summerville Boy bounced back to somewhere near his best with a four-length win over First Flow in his chasing debut at Uttoxeter just last month. That was his first win of any kind in almost 18 months, so Tom George will have been delighted to see his lightly raced seven-year-old get a much-needed confidence boost.
That latest run will have been viewed very much as a stepping stone to bigger and better things and the former Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner will be aiming to make it two from two over the larger obstacles. Summerville Boy is fully entitled to have strengthened up from his seasonal reappearance as he and Jonathan Burke try to enhance their perfect record in this sphere. There are no issues with the going and with him being a previous course and distance winner, he has to be high on any shortlist.
Operatic Export won at his first attempt over seven furlongs as a juvenile in Ireland. After that he found it a bit more difficult but on his last start for Jim Bolger, he was a decent third at Leopardstown under rapidly deteriorating conditions. That effort was over a mile and a half so two miles over hurdles on his debut for Richard Newland should be well within his scope. The testing surface is unlikely to bother him and the booking of Sam Twiston-Davies by the ultra-shrewd trainer is noted.
The yard are clearly in good heart with three of their last six runners winning, including Dashing Perk at Sandown yesterday. The trainer has an enviable record of doing well with other folks’ cast-offs, so this three-year old-filly commands respect.
Malaya was a model of consistency last season picking up a win over course and distance back in March when winning the Imperial Cup. She beat some notable types that day including Monsieur Lecoq, Call Me Lord and Storm Rising.
She seems to have needed her first couple of runs so far this year, but the stable were going through somewhat of a lean patch at the time. Paul Nicholls has certainly bounced back to form with a vengeance of late, so it wouldn’t be the biggest of surprises to see a much improved effort from Malaya this afternoon. She is the only mare in the race proven multiple times at this level and with plenty of give underfoot, it would be foolish to underestimate her chances today.
Native River is likely to prove all the rage here despite being likely to be sent off a short-priced favourite. This former Cheltenham Gold Cup hero unbelievably went without a win for the entirety of last season but put up some notable performances in defeat including when runner-up in the Betfair Chase and when third to Clan Des Obeaux at Kempton in the King George.
Richard Johnson renews his association with the habitual front-runner and if allowed to dominate from the outset, the duo could prove lethal. The ground holds no fears for the selection who is taken to confirm form with the somewhat enigmatic Might Bite based on that Gold Cup win back in 2018.
Colin Tizzard will be keen to see his stable star back in the winner’s enclosure and they ought to have an excellent chance of returning to winning ways in the Many Clouds Chase.
Un De Sceaux hasn’t been seen since running away with the Boylesports Champion Chase at Punchestown in the spring. Having jumped with aplomb for much of the race, he was shaken up and stayed on strongly to defeat the talented Min by around four lengths.
Prior to making his seasonal reappearance in this race last year, he had won at the first time of asking for the previous two years. One of those successes came in this particular race, so it seems wise that Willie Mullins allows him to try and regain his crown here. There is no Altior to contend with this time around and there has to be every reason to believe that he could be a leading player this afternoon.
Tricky to train, he only ever has three or four runs per season but this two-mile trip allows him to utilise his natural speed. He certainly knows his way around this track and must rate as a live threat to Defi Du Seuil.
Touch Kick may prove the right one to side with as Paul Nicholls attempts to win this particular race for the fourth time in seven seasons. Bryony Frost replaces Harry Cobden in the plate as the combination bid to defy a career-high mark. The eight-year-old saw off the attentions of proven mudlark Diplomate Sivola at Taunton over this trip back in February and he ought to relish a return to this type of surface today.
Touch Kick defied a six-month break to win at Fakenham over slightly further last time. That run should have cleared any cobwebs and he ought to make a bold bid in order to supplement that victory.
Step Back is extremely lightly raced for a nine-year-old, but his best efforts have come over this course and distance. He is a former bet365 Gold Cup winner here and was also placed in that same race again this year despite having endured a troubled campaign, while the effort behind Talkischeap back in April has to be marked up as a decent attempt.
The vast majority of this field are well known to the handicapper and hold relatively few secrets from him. Mark Bradstock has a potential improver on his hands and Step Back has to be considered on what is his favourite track. The fences at Sandown come quick and take some jumping, but with so little mileage on the clock , it may pay to side with him one more time.
Jamie Moore has not ridden him since that Gold Cup success back in 2018 as Nico De Boinville and David Bass have been preferred. It is of note that the trainer reverts to utilising Moore’s services at a track where the horse and jockey know every blade of grass. The pair will be staying on when others have cried enough and that ought to bode well for them.
KARL HEADLEY'S BEST BETS
DEFINITLY RED (1.30 Aintree) 12/1 bet365
SUMMERVILLE BOY (1.50 Sandown) [7/2 William Hill]((http://ads2.williamhill.com/redirect.aspx?pid=11673057&lpid=1487410956&bid=1487410398)
OPERATIC EXPORT (2.05 Aintree) 9/2 bet365
MALAYA (2.25 Sandown) 4/1 bet365
NATIVE RIVER (2.40 Aintree) 4/5 Unibet
UN DE SCEAUX (3.00 Sandown) 9/2 Bet365
TOUCH KICK (3.15 Aintree) 9/2 Paddy Power
STEP BACK (3.35 Sandown) 9/2 Unibet
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