Top tipster Andrew Mount found three winners (11-2 from 10-1, 9-2 from 6-1 and 5-2 from 100-30) from his six selections on Thursday. He’s back with six more picks for Friday’s racing.
VALORANT – (1.00 Doncaster, 2pts win 8/1)
VALORANT was added to my tracker after her eight-length Newmarket fourth on her second outing. That run was much better than it looked, as she raced in the deep ground on the far rail whereas the winner and runner-up came down the quicker centre strip. She got off the mark in a 7f Sandown nursery next time, prevailing by half a length after chasing the strong early pace. The runner-up, third, fourth and fifth all came from midfield or further back and it was another solid effort against a bias. She’s drifted to a very backable price fort this 1m nursery, is nicely drawn in the middle and should get a good tow into the race from likeliest pace angle Urban Way.
FIX SUN – (3.00 Cheltenham, 1pt e/w 8/1
FIX SUN (a non-runner when I tipped him at Chepstow on October 10th) was beaten at odds of 1-6 at Fakenham last time but he never left the inside rail where the ground was swamp-like and his half-length second was actually worthy of a major upgrade. His full record reads 21112 (3-5) and if the wind operation has brought about improvement, he could prove hard to beat on this his handicap debut.
ON THE SLOPES – (3.35 Cheltenham, 1pt win 5/1)
ON THE SLOPES failed to see out the extended 2m4f trip on soft ground when third behind Simply The Betts and Imperial Aura in the Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase here on Trials Day, form that was given a massive boost when the winner and runner-up both won at the festival in March. On The Slopes is two from two since that fine effort, scoring impressively from the front over 2m2f at Kempton and following up off a 7lb higher mark at the same venue. Will he prove best right-handed? Possibly, but he didn’t jump out to his right here in January, even when tired in the closing stages and at 5-1 he looks worth chancing.
OLYMPIC CONQUEROR – (5.03 Doncaster, 1.5pts win 5/2)
OLYMPIC CONQUEROR has proved unsuited to small-field contests the last twice, finishing a five-length second at Ripon where the winner got first run on a pace-favouring track before keeping on into a two-length fourth of six at Newcastle. Since qualified for handicaps, his record in fields of ten or more runners stands at 3181157 (3-7), with the latest defeat excusable as he was drawn very wide at Chester. James Fanshawe’s Doncaster runners are profitable to back blind (44 winners from 247 runners since 2005, 17.8% strike-rate, +£56.23 to a £1 level stake at SP) and this 12-runner line-up looks ideal.
WILD MAX – (5.15 Cheltenham, 1pt e/w 13/2)
WILD MAX clocked a fast time when scoring at Taunton on his British debut last November and comfortably followed up at the same venue. He pulled hard that day, and again when only fourth of six at Musselburgh next time, but looks the type to improve considerably for a big field/strong pace scenario now handicapping. He won in a field of 14 runners on the Flat in Germany and those Taunton wins came in fields of 12 and 13 runners. Throw in his trainer’s good record in this race (two wins and a place from four runners) and he looks solid at around the 6-1 mark.
ROCKET ROD – (5.30 Newcastle, 1pt win 9/2)
ROCKET ROD had little chance from stall 10 of 11 in a 1m Kempton handicap last time, trailing home a 16-1 ninth. That race has received a few boosts – winner Turn On The Charm followed up, runner-up Lord Neidin went one better next time and the horse in 11th place – Topanticipation – was narrowly beaten when 40-1 next time. Rocket Rod has been gelded since and wears a visor for the first time. Hugo Palmer’s newly gelded runners, who wear any form of headgear, have a nine from 44 record (20.5%) for a profit of £34.45 to a £1 level stake at SP.
Today’s Best Bets
Valorant – 2pts win – 1.00 Doncaster (8-1 bet365)
Fix Sun – 1pt each-way – 3.00 Cheltenham (17-2 William Hill, 8-1 Sky Bet, both paying six places)
On The Slopes – 1pt win – 3.35 Cheltenham (5-1 generally)
Olympic Conqueror – 1.5pts win – 5.03 Doncaster (9-2 bet365)
Wild Max – 1pt each-way – 5.15 Cheltenham (13-2 Betfair, Paddy Power)
Rocket Rod – 1pt win – 5.30 Newcastle (9-2 generally)
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