Not long now until the Flat season gets underway with the Lincoln from Doncaster at the weekend and there is some competitive action on the level this afternoon from Southwell and Lingfield, followed by a tricky looking card at Kempton under the floodlights this evening.
We also have a National Hunt fixture from Market Rasen which looks an interesting card despite the small fields and we have highlighted some of the best betting opportunities from across the cards to hopefully end the day a winner!
Southwell is track where it is hugely beneficial to follow the course specialist’s, some horses simply don’t act at the venue and others relish it – and the best value selection on the card this afternoon is the Scott Dixon trained CROSSE FIRE who looks under estimated at the morning prices.
The 8 time course winner clearly loves it around here, and was back on the score-sheet over course and distance last time out to suggest is back to a decent level of form and should be followed from just a 1lb higher mark.
You know exactly what you are going to get with Cross Fire, he will be ridden up with the pace, likely tracking the pace setters before looking to pounce late with a winning drive. Young jockey Theodore Ladd knows the horse very well and if replicating the level of form from a fortnight ago really should be right there once again at the business end.
The obvious danger is the market leader Marble Bar who represents the shrewd yard of Iain Jardine who wouldn’t be making the journey down from Scotland for no reason and looks a horse to follow in similar events this spring, but it is hard to get past the proven course form of Crosse Fire and looks the value for this winnable contest.
Lingfield stages some competitive action on the level this afternoon and the best bet on the card comes in ten furlong handicap at 4:10pm where we like the chances of the William Knight trained TESORINA who should take the beating from her current mark.
The consistent four year old filly got off the mark at the venue last month, beating the well regarded Top Rock by a neck under today’s jockey Richard Kingscote. It is encouraging that Kingscote has been booked for the mount as she doesn’t look the easiest of rides but seems to act for the jockey and fingers crossed this continues this afternoon.
We last saw Tesorina over course and distance at the weekend, when looking to make all in a hot race, but just being caught late home. This would be a much easier contest this afternoon and if running to the same level really should take all the beating.
The main rival is the Tony Carroll trained Creative Talent, who is in good form of late but doesn’t win as often as probably should, and therefore it is Tesorina we expect to take the beating and sure to be running well over the next few weeks and months in similar contests and remains a horse to stay on the right side of.
Market Rasen stages another midweek card and though low on numbers is still ultra competitive with a number of tight contests, and the best bet from a value perspective comes in the finale where we are siding with the shrewd Brian Ellison to get SIANNES STAR’s head in front for the first time.
In these conditional rider races it can pay to side with the most experienced or talented jockey and it could be significant that Ellison has secured the services of future champion jockey Jonjo O’Neil for the ride on this unexposed 6 yr-old. O’Neil is flying at the current time with a big winner at Newbury at the weekend and could be just the tonic required to get the improvement out of the disappointing to date Siannes Star.
Market Rasen is a track that is very sharp, and horses that go well at the course tend to come back and show a decent level of form time after time so is encouraging that the two best runs of Siannes Star career have come at the venue.
Though beaten over 10 lengths on handicap debut last time out this was a hot contest and with the step up in trip likely to bring further improvement all things look set for a big effort this afternoon.
The selection has been keen early in his races so is good to see that Ellison has opted to try headgear for the first time in the hope it will help him settle. With a strong jockey in the saddle, head gear applied, a step up in trip and a weaker looking contest fingers crossed all roads lead to an improved run and if this is the case looks decent value at the morning prices.
An interesting card from Kempton this evening that looks tricky for punters, but one horse that does look overpriced and rates a cracking each way selection is the Peter Hiatt trained BAASHIQ in the mile handicap at 7:30pm, who looks under valued at the current price of 10/1.
The 5 yr-old clearly goes well at the track having finished runner up in two decent races over course and distance, both of these runs since the trainer has applied the cheekpieces which clearly has made some difference.
Last time out he was just 1 ¾ lengths behind the warm favourite for this evenings contest – Lothario, and though it may be hard to reverse the form he does meet him on better terms and shouldn’t be the huge price differential between the two runners.
Leading all-weather jockey Luke Morris takes the ride this evening and though drawn wide in stall 10, if running to the same form we have seen the last twice at the Surrey Venue should go very close and rates a nice each way selection at the current prices.