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Daryl Carter’s Best Bets – Friday, 27th January

Top tipster Daryl Carter has been firing in the winners of late and gives four selections for Friday’s racing, including a confident 2pt NAP at Wolverhampton.

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Posted: 5pm January 26th (Odds correct at time of writing)

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2.20 Lingfield – VEGA SICILIA (1pt win – 9/4 Bet365, 15/8 William Hill, 13/8 generally)

VEGA SICILIA was narrowly denied for this column as a 2pt 7/1 selection at Southwell last time on the basis of his time figure at Wolverhampton, and had his jockey been stronger a the finish; he would have landed that contest. James Doyle takes over in the saddle today, and he can fight off the returning handicap debutant Halic who is one to follow next time. The selection is creeping up the handicap but has another victory in him before long.

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3.35 Huntingdon – IMPHAL (1pt win – 16/1 generally) + ITCHY FEET (1p win – 18/1 generally)

IMPHAL had absolutely no chance when held up at the rear of the field at Sandown on seasonal return on ground he would have hated. That race was so slowly run that it’s worth putting a line through and suggesting he just needed the outing. It was also a trip too short. The headgear comes off, and he steps back up in distance on a better surface today and returns to the scene of his November 2021 victory. He recorded some excellent time figures last term, including in much stronger company than this, and there is plenty of mileage in his handicap mark, so he gets the vote.

The other to back is ITCHY FEET, who returns to hurdles for the first time since being favourite for the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at Haydock in 2018. He has run some big races over fences recently, but the return to hurdles sees him exceptionally well handicapped off this rating of 138. He returns right-handed, for which his form figures read 221141, and over hurdles a sole victory at Kempton in a Listed contest in 2018. He ran on strongly at Cheltenham over fences latest when given far too much to do and is unexposed at this distance over hurdles. He is the class angle in this contest and could take plenty of beating and is a huge price with Sean Bowen on board.

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8.15 Wolverhampton – ALTERNATIVA (2pt win – 9/1 Paddy Power + Betfair, 8/1 generally)

ALTERNATIVA is miles ahead of the handicapper on the latest evidence of her seasonal return at Lingfield when denied a clear run up the rail behind Mohatu, who has since split two promising three-year-olds at Lingfield and won again on Thursday. Granted a clear passage, she would have hacked up, but instead, the handicapper has strangely dropped her 3lbs, which now allows her to make her handicap debut in a 0-75 contest. She chased home the useful Asaasi (93) at Salisbury in June last year with a couple of 80-rated rivals in behind. She is entitled to improve a good deal for that outing, and her debut run at Lingfield could not have worked out better. She is NAP material today and can get the better of War In Heaven, who likes sit here.

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Dary Carter’s Best Bets

2.20 Lingfield – VEGA SICILIA (1pt win – 9/4 Bet365, 15/8 William Hill, 13/8 generally)

3.35 Huntingdon – IMPHAL (1pt win – 16/1 generally) + ITCHY FEET (1p win – 18/1 generally)

8.15 Wolverhampton – ALTERNATIVA (2pt win – 9/1 Paddy Power + Betfair, 8/1 generally)


Check out this week’s Weekend Watch, where our team of tipsters talk us through their selections for Saturday’s racing at Cheltenham Festival Trial’s Day, plus the key races at Doncaster: