Top tipster Sam Turner is a regular on Racing TV and a proponent of speed figures and sectional timing. Here are his best bets for Saturday’s action
Waarif has not quite lived up to the exploits of last season but ran a better race nine days ago and was a game winner of this contest last year.
The six-year-old managed four victories in 2018, three of them on good to firm or good ground but faced a real test when encountering heavy going here 12 months ago. However, despite the testing conditions he powered through the mud to hold off the favourite Fire Brigade and actually won going away. Presumably those exertions took their toll and a week later he was struggling in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.
Waarif has managed a couple of decent wins this season but went off the boil in mid-July until looking more like it last week at Doncaster in a race run in a very slow time. That would not have suited but it should have him teed up for this and at around 8/1, he has a decent each-way shout.
Laubali has had a very light campaign this year but loves it here and is taken to bounce back from a dismal showing at Redcar a month and a half ago.
Yet to win on turf, all three successes have come at Dunstall Park, the latest in December when he out-battled the runner-up at odds of 14/1, with the rest of the field struggling behind.
Laubali now returns to Wolverhampton after his no show at Redcar and is available at 14/1 again on Friday evening.
No three-year-old has won this since Bernie The Bolt 10 years ago but Land Of Oz has kept on improving and looks a worthy favourite.
Although he has landed an impressive five victories since July, his best effort was at York in a fast-run £77,000 1m6f handicap when staying on to a two-length defeat. More pedestrian when not beating much at Kempton 15 days ago, this test should suit better and he gives every indication that the marathon trip will hold few fears.
TODAY’S BEST BETS
WAARIF (Ayr, 2.00) 1pt ew
LAUBALI (Wolverhampton, 6.20 1pt ew
LAND OF OZ (Newmarket, 3.5) 1pt win
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