Our tipster Karl Hedley provides the odds for the week's races
5-15 BETDAQ 30 FREE BET NAD 3% COMM MAIDEN STAKES – 1 MILE
Stay Strong was far from disgraced on his racecourse debut at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago. He is entitled to improve for that run and much better can be expected from the Godolphin representative this evening. Saeed Bin Suroor is not one to over reach with his runners and with a near thirty percent strike rate at this track over the years, this gelding by Monsun is entitled to plenty of respect. Martin Harley takes the ride for the first time and the duo should prove a difficult combination to beat.
Assagher and Mr Singh represent the powerhouse stable of John Gosden. The former has previous racecourse experience to fall back upon and he could well prove the pick of the duo. He was beaten a little over seven lengths here on his racecourse debut and he did improve for that run next time. He was interfered with at a crucial part of that last race and may well be worth another chance. High Admiral represents an in form Andrew Balding stable and that yard can produce first time out winners. He is worthy of closer inspection and could well make the frame. Stay Strong looks sure to improve for that first effort and he can go a few places better this afternoon.
6-50 BETDAQ COMMISSION FREE FOOTBALL ON SATURDAYS HANDICAP – 2 MILES
Sagesse ran a good race last week at Wolverhampton following a five month break and remained prominent throughout before finishing third behind Rowlestone Lass. Sir Mark Prescott clearly feels that this step up to two miles is well within her capabilities and that decision has to be respected. Luke Morris was on board the only other time that Sagesse has run at Kempton and the combination recorded their only win to date here. With the cobwebs well and truly blown away following that reappearance last week, she can make her presence known.
Charlie Wells lost nothing in defeat when beaten a short head by Strawberry Martini over the course and distance a couple of weeks ago. Eve Johnson Houghton has her string in good form and this three year old may prove the pick of the opposition. Snowy Dawn ran a mighty race at the November Handicap meeting at Newmarket. He wasn’t disgraced behind the likes of Sohar and Rite To Reign and if making a smooth transition to the polytrack, he too has live place claims. Sagesse is still only lightly raced but is clearly effective on this surface. She can put her previous experience of this course to good use in order to go close.
1-00 LEWIS BADGES NOVICES’ LIMITED HANDICAP CHASE – 2 MILES
O Maonlai made his first start for Tom George at Huntingdon last month having been purchased out of the Hyde stable in Ireland. He ran perfectly respectably when finishing fourth to an in form Ned Stark and he can be expected to come on for that seasonal reappearance. The ground is expected to be testing and that ought to prove no barrier for this six year old who has won on heavy ground at Punchestown in the past. Paddy Brennan is once again booked to ride and the duo command plenty of respect.
Vivaccio has won both of his starts so far this year for Venetia Williams and has benefited since returning to this two mile trip. If he is allowed to take his chance following his most recent win last week, he looks the biggest danger to the selection. My Oh Mount Brown won on rain softened ground for Alan McCabe last season. He has subsequently switched stables to that of Dan Skelton and was disappointingly pulled up on his seasonal reappearance. He is much better than he showed on that occasion and it would be of little surprise to see him in a much better light here. O Maonlai is expected to improve on what he has shown so far and he can find himself right in the mix this afternoon.
12-30 RYMAN STATIONERY CHELTENHAM BUSINESS CLUB NOVICES’ CHASE – 3 M 1 F 110 YDS
King’s Palace has won three of his last four races at Cheltenham including once over this extended three mile trip. On his latest visit he saw off several of today’s rivals including Sausalito Sunrise, Drop Out Joe and Creepy. Tom Scudamore has built up a good relationship with the six year old and they can confirm the form over their old rivals.
Virak is two from two so far this season and Paul Nicholls has his stable firing on all cylinders. He saw off the challenge of Golden Hoof in decent fashion at Haydock last month and he is certainly on the upgrade. Virak has run twice previously at Cheltenham in handicap company and has improved with each run. If he continues on that upward curve he will be hard to keep out of the frame.
Sausalito Sunrise has a good turn around in the weights with King’s Palace for that recent defeat, but with David Pipe’s inmate expected to come on in no uncertain terms for his seasonal reappearance, he may struggle to do so here. King’s Palace is held in very high regard and he can go onto much better things later in the season.
|WEDNESDAY 5-15 KEMPTON
|WEDNESDAY 6-50 KEMPTON
|THURSDAY 1-00 WARWICK
|FRIDAY 12-30 CHELTENHAM