Sam Turner's Best Bets BlogMENGLI KHAN (Cheltenham, 1.30) is probably not a bet for the feint-hearted, but last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle-third hasn’t encountered soft ground since chasing home Summerville Boy and it’s worth recalling he was made favourite to beat Le Richebourg at Leopardstown over Christmas.

He was put in his place by the same rival at the Dublin Racing Festival too (Voix Du Reve fell at the last when in contention), again on fast ground, but could be worth chancing at a big price now he steps up in trip.

KILDISART will also be a price and represents a stable already among the winners this week. He impressed with a cosy win on Trials Day over course and distance and looks worth an each-way investment.

Mengli Khan 0.5pt ew @ 16-1

Get 16/1 @ bet365

Kildisart 0.5pt ew @ 9-1

Get 9/1 @ BetVictor


Connections of FIRST ASSIGNMENT (Cheltenham, 2.10) were probably disappointed when their progressive hurdler was beaten at a short price at Haydock in November, trying to follow up his nine-length Cheltenham defeat of Boyhood a week previous.

Time has told he lost nothing in defeat that day though as Paisley Park and Shades Of Midnight finished narrowly in front of him and the former is short-price for the Stayers’ Hurdle, while Shades Of Midnightlifted a Grade 2 on his next start. First Assignment then followed the path of the last 30 winners by running in this calendar year at Warwick, a trend Sire Du Berlais must overcome.

The danger could well be NOTWHATIAM who has improved for a switch to Dan Skelton and shaped well in the Warwick qualifier just behind First Assignment.

Both look to offer excellent each-way value in a hugely competitive renewal.

First Assignment 0.5pt ew @ 12-1

Get 12/1 @ BetVictor

Notwhatiam 0.5pt ew @ 12-1

Get 12/1 @ William Hill

MONALEE (Cheltenham, 2.50) heads the ratings over the likes of Footpad and ROAD TO RESPECT in the Ryanair Chase but it looks marginal.

The selection appears better at today’s trip rather than trying to stretch out beyond three miles and, if he can find some rhythm at the head of affairs, he should deliver a big performance judged on his effort here in last year’s RSA Chase when only Presenting Percy was too strong.

Last year’s Arkle Chase winner Footpad moves up in trip which should suit as he hasn’t really fired over two miles with his previously exhilarating jumping looking anything but. This trip could also be a better test for Road To Respect who appeared to not quite get home in the Gold Cup last year.

Monalee 1pt win @ 9-2

Get 9/2 @ bet365

Road To Respect 1pt win @ 9-2

Get 9/2 @ BetVictor


Kildisart is part of our Tasty Treble for Thursday.


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