On a quiet and sobering St Patrick's Day, Sam Turner is remaining positive and has two strongly fancied selections lined up at Taunton.
Playa Blanca (Taunton, 4.00)
PLAYA BLANCA’s form tailed off quite badly following his Huntingdon maiden win a year ago but is now a different horse after a wind operation.
His 2019 campaign ended at Lingfield when he made a hash of the second last and failed to recover from the mistake, finishing fifth beaten 20 lengths. He had surgery soon after and returned to action at Kempton two months later when never in the hunt. However, with that effort out of the way he headed to today’s venue nine days ago and, well-backed, cruised to victory despite a last hurdle error. And, to prove that was no fluke the five-year-old was most impressive at Market Rasen on Sunday, winning unchallenged by an eased-down 24 lengths.
Playa Blanca does move back up in trip on Tuesday but gives every indication that the extra two and a half furlongs today should hold no fears as he goes for a rapid hat-trick with a 7lb penalty.
Putdecashonthedash (Taunton, 4.35)
PUTDECASHONTHEDASH gained a deserved first success at Wincanton 12 days ago, eased down after putting the race to bed heading to the second-last.
The seven-year-old had been knocking on the door here (twice) and at Wincanton, and looked to be going well at Sedgefield in late January when coming down with a circuit to go. However, there were no problems last time as he travelled well with first-time cheekpieces complementing the usual tongue-tie and, although he wasn’t tidy at the last, won easily.
He is an improving stayer and barring a poor jump, should take all the beating in this company even with a big rise in the weights.
SAM TURNER'S TOP TIPS
Playa Blanca 1pt win (4.00 Taunton) 5/4 William Hill
Putdecashonthedash 1pt win (4.35 Taunton) 6/4 William Hill
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