Ben Linfoot walks you through all nine races on ITV4 on Tuesday and he has two recommended bets.
LUI MALAYA – 12.45 Kempton
Nine races live on ITV4 on Bank Holiday Tuesday and several tantalizing betting races among them – but the opening juvenile hurdle at Kempton is not one of them.
Four of the nine players in the field are making their hurdle debuts and who knows how they’ll handle it, so the call percentage is to side with those with experience.
by Paul Nichols HIM MAYALA is the token choice, although he was disappointing when he was a well-regarded favorite on his hurdle debut at Newton Abbot in October.
He’ll have to come a long way for that in the extra tab, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he did for a trainer with a great record in this contest.
RED ROOKIE – 1.05 Chepstow
RED ROOKIE was running a big race in the Sporting Life Arkle when he took off too early at the final close and it might be worth taking him out for the first time in the Coral Get Closer To The Action Handicap Chase at Chepstow.
He ran a great race at this track on his seasonal debut last year when he was second and there is every reason to believe he can progress to a better handicap business than this from a 140 rating based on his overall progress as a Novice, including that Arkle run.
Increasing travel to almost 2m4f should be no problem for him, although he can be seen to good effect on hell for leather two miles away at some point in this campaign, and he’s taken to strike for Emma Lavelle and Tom Bellamy.
BOOTHILL – 1.20 Kempton
START HILL was last seen unsuccessfully chasing Jonbon, but without anything of that class in the Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton, Harry Fry’s horse may emerge in the lead.
The seven-year-old has appeared to return to the fences well this season, his most impressive handicap pursuit at Ascot, as he acquitted himself well in the Novice Year 1 Henry VIII pursuit at Sandown before being outclassed by the winner.
It’s the best form of pursuit on offer here and he can prove himself a good novice hunter in his own right by claiming Year 2 honors.
PERSEAN WAY – 1.40 Chepstow
The Coral Finale Hurdle takes place for the first time since it was downgraded to Grade 2 but it’s a no less interesting revival with a host of juvenile winners gathered.
PERSEAN ROAD was ruled out by Scriptwriter at Cheltenham in November but wasn’t beaten at all despite not jumping too well and he then got a good Leicester confidence booster at Leicester.
He’s learning with experience and he might just show his improvement by reversing form with Milton Harris’ horse here, aided by a 5-pound pull, and that might be enough to land the top prize.
POPPY – 1.55 Kempton
Anthony Honeyball’s POPPY has improved for another summer on her back and she can score a hat-trick in the Ladbrokes ‘We Play Together’ Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.
The six-year-old had a lap on the Nottingham flat before impressive hurdles wins at Ascot and Sandown, her jumping one of the characteristics that has helped her win back-to-back victories.
Her attitude was in evidence at Sandown the last time she fought West Balboa and on that evidence step up to three might see her in an even better light, while this track will also play to her strengths, if she positively rose again.
SABRINE – 2.10 Chepstow
Might be worth a shot at lightweight SABRIN in the Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle for almost three miles in Chepstow.
The Paul Nicholls mare has improved dramatically since a tongue tie was added and she has also improved as she has grown on the trip, her victory by 16 lengths over this distance at Exeter last time, a career high.
She gets along well with Freddie Gingell, who takes off an extra 7 pounds here, and she looks like good value at 11 years from a lightweight in a run that should play to her strengths.
EDWARDSTONE – 2.30 Kempton
EDWARDSTONE can prove he’s a real threat to Energumene in the Champion Chase Division by taking on the Year 2 Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Hunt in style.
Alan King’s horse looked two miles from the top drawer when he soared into Tingle Creek on his reappearance and his strong finishing style may be too powerful for these rivals.
Nube Negra is the most obvious danger, especially if the ground dries out a bit, but a thriving Edwardstone might just be too hot for it, even if the ground rolls.
ASK ME EARLY – 2.50 Chepstow
at Harry Fry ASK ME EARLY has long looked like a Coral Welsh Grand National horse and he can give jockey Sean Bowen a memorable victory in Tuesday’s race.
The eight-year-old is three of four at Chepstow and 2/2 here on the fences and although things didn’t work out for him last season after his mark was protected and he missed this run , he has the appearance of a well-handicapped horse when presented with a sufficient endurance test.
A good jumper and hard-core galloper with serious endurance on his mother’s side, this extended 3m6f contest should really bring out the best in him.
COLLONGES FOUNTAIN – 3.09 Kempton
COLLONGES FOUNTAIN was Venetia Williams’ first winner of the season last month and she can compete again in the Ladbrokes Play “1-2-Free” On Football Handicap Chase in Kempton.
The seven-year-old mare appeared to improve rapidly last season and she recovered from a spell on the sidelines through illness with a bold win on her seasonal reappearance at Haydock.
She ran wide all day but had enough on hand to see The Big Breakaway on her first three-mile run.
With untapped potential on this trip, she can challenge a 5-pound weight increase in a race that Williams won a few years ago with Royale Pagaille.
Preview published at 14:55 GMT on 26/12/2022
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