Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday’s racing coming your way from Kempton Park, Newcastle, Lingfield Park, and Chelmsford City.
Check out Neil’s video preview for Saturday’s racing below:
Race 1 No1 GOLAN FORTUNE
Trainer: Phil Middleton – Jockey: Luca Morgan
GOLAN FORTUNE has shown a liking for this course, scoring on Boxing Day in 2017 before embarking on a chasing campaign. He returns to hurdling off top weight, but loses 7lb owing to his capable conditional rider, and can turn back the clock.
Race 3 No8 TRITONIC (Nap)
Trainer: Alan King – Jockey: Adrian Heskin
If there’s a juvenile that has the potential to surge to the top of the Triumph Hurdle market then TRITONIC is one name to conjure with. The former smart middle-distance performer on the Flat made the perfect start to his jumps career when landing some good bets at Ascot, and hails from a stable that always fields at least one juvenile with strong claims for the Festival.
Race 5 No5 CLONDAW CASTLE (Each Way)
Trainer: Tom George – Jockey: Jonathan Burke
This is undoubtedly the best betting contest of the day, with 18 set to face the tape. Several jump off the page that should go into all exotic permutations and these include Talkischeap, Delire D’Estruval, Al Dancer and Double Shuffle. However the one with the best credentials is CLONDAW CASTLE. He’s mixed it with some talented foes in Graded chases, taking home a cheque behind the likes of Mister Fisher at Cheltenham and Master Tommytucker at this course last month. That form now looks especially strong, and the nine-year-old can give a good account en route to one of the handicaps at the Festival.
Race 4 No8 SALTY BOY (Each Way)
Trainer: David Bridgwater – Jockey: Brendan Powell
This stable tragically lost its star player The Conditional at Newbury at the start of the week, so it would be poetic justice if SALTY BOY was able to return to winning form in this featured Eider Chase. The four mile marathon is one of the recognised trials for the Grand National. Salty Boy has run well in stamina tests at Haydock and Plumpton on his last two starts, but you need to look back to 2018 for his last successes, when he was trained in Ireland. The addition of cheek pieces appear to have had a positive effect, and judging how close he got to Seaston Spirit in the Sussex National last time he has to be taken seriously for an earning run.
Race 6 No1 CLAN LEGEND (Nap)
Trainer: Nick Alexander – Jockey: Danny McMenamin
Veteran CLAN LEGEND has looked right back to near his best this season, winning at Aintree and then chasing home Alnadam in a good race at Sandown. A wind operation has assisted that good recent form, and he’s taken to shrug off a welter burden and outpoint the relatively unexposed Ascot De Bruyere.
Race 7 No12 INFINITI
Trainer: Barry Leavy – Jockey: Lewis Stones
INFINITI likes a break between races and will be fresh for the nightcap in which she gets plenty of weight from her foes. Her form in three outings this season entitles her to the greatest respect, and given the rub of the green under a jockey that is good value for his 3lb claim she should again be competitive.
Race 5 No3 MOSS GILL (Nap)
Trainer: Ed Bethell – Jockey: PJ McDonald
This fascinating curtain raiser to the Winter Derby can fall to smart northern sprinter MOSS GILL. The five-year-old is the flagship of rookie trainer Ed Bethell’s Middleham stable and has much the best form granted his third to Battaash in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York, and success in a Listed race at the same course in 2020. He’s shown he can win after a break, and should be very hard to beat.
Race 6 No2 FELIX
Trainer: Marco Botti – Jockey: Hollie Doyle
The Winter Derby sees handicapper Father Of States attempting to prove that he’s a fair bit better than that as he jumps into a Group 3. He’s looked a horse with plenty of improvement in him but could find the task of taking on Forest Of Dean and FELIX beyond him. Forest Of Dean wasn’t beaten far by Bangkok in a trial for this here three weeks ago, but the best form is surely Felix’s second in the same race, when he got tapped for toe before finishing best of all to be beaten half a length. He’d beaten Bangkok on his previous start, and is the winner of five of his last seven starts for a trainer whose star is back in the ascendancy.
Race 8 No3 AND THE NEW
Trainer: Johnny Farrelly – Jockey: Rossa Ryan
After bolting up over hurdles at Wincanton, AND THE NEW was stuck on the rail and only got going when the birds had flown in a jumper-bumper at this course. He needs to be given the chance to bounce back, and can land the spoils at the main expense of Single.
Race 7 No1 BLAIRLOGIE (Each Way)
Trainer: Laura Morgan – Jockey: Rhys Clutterbuck
BLAIRLOGIE served notice that he’s ready to bring his best game to the table when third here at the start of the month. He needs everything to drop right, and on a very difficult card will hopefully be a horse worth waiting for.