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Neil Morrice: International Racing – Saturday 06 February 2021

Neil Morrice Best Bets & Tips

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday’s racing coming your way from Sandown Park, Musselburgh, Lingfield Park and Wetherby.  

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SANDOWN PARK

 

Race 1 No2 CARIBEAN BOY (Nap)

Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Daryl Jacob

 

Former French-based CARIBEAN BOY is on a recovery mission after being turned over when odds-on at Ascot before Christmas. He looked the real deal when landing a Grade 2 novice chase at Newbury in November but seemed ill at ease on his latest start, finishing last of three behind Dashel Drasher. Two things to consider regarding today’s task is that he was found to have an issue after Ascot, while that form was boosted by the winner’s subsequent win in a competitive handicap back there.

Race 2 VIRGIN BET SCILLY ISLES NOVICES’ CHASE ( Grade 1)

 

No1 MESSIRE DES OBEAUX

Trainer: Alan King – Jockey: Daryl Jacob

This is the best novice chase run in England so far this season, bringing together a dream line-up for the sponsors. SHAN BLUE and DAME DE COMPAGNIE are trying to extend their winning sequences to four, while HITMAN excelled in some work on Thursday as he attempts to turn round a defeat here in December. However, the one that could produce the wow factor is MESSIRE DES OBEAUX who has looked very smart in back-to-back triumphs at Wincanton. His wide-margin defeat of Protektorat last month was visually impressive and his slick jumping should stand him in good stead over these tricky fences. He’s always been the apple of his trainer’s eye, and can confirm his status as an Aintree prospect, as his trainer doesn’t plan to take him to the Cheltenham Festival.

Race 3 VIRGIN BET COTSWOLD CHASE (Grade 2)

 

No4 SANTINI

Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Aidan Coleman

 

This important trial for the Gold Cup can see old rivals BRISTOL DE MAI and SANTINI fighting it out up the final hill. In a race transferred from Cheltenham, Bristol De Mai looks set to head the market on the back of his success in Haydock’s Betfair Chase. He will be kept company for the lead by NATIVE RIVER and SANT CALVADOS but the good pace that seems likely is just the ticKet for Santini, whose staying qualities manifested themselves in this race 12 months ago. He is better than his run in the King George indicates, and with a new jockey in the irons can prove strongest at the business end.

 

Prediction: 1st SANTINI, 2nd Bristol De Mai, 3rd SaintCalvados, 4th Native River

 

Race 4 No2 CHAMPAGNE MYSTERY

Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Consistency was the hallmark of CHAMPAGNE MYSTERY before he pulled up in one of the big novice chases at the Cheltenham Festival. He underwent a wind operation in the close season and fell on his return in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at the same course. He’s enjoyed a freshening break and can make his mark in an admittedly competitive race.

WETHERBY

 

Race 3 No6 MALPAS

Trainer: Donald McCain Jr – Jockey: Sean Quinlan

 

MALPAS is a lightly-raced individual that won’t need to be all that good to take out a weak novices’ hurdle. A faller on his seasonal return, he missed out when his intended race was called off last week, but this looks easier.

Race 6 No1 WITNESS PROTECTION (Nap)

Trainer: Martin Keightley – Jockey: James Best

WITNESS PROTECTION also had to forego a good opportunity at abandoned Catterick last week. He revers here with strong claims to notch a third win from four outings this season. A strong galloper who likes to be handy, he bolted up at Chepstow, and that form has held up well.

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MUSSELBURGH

 

Race 3 No6 TORIGNI

Trainer: Harry Whittington – Jockey: Jack Quinlan

 

This stable is ready to emerge from a quiet spell, in which its horses haven’t been quite right. The selection is a lightly-raced improver who can compliment his Kempton conqueror Cadzand and give that horse’s Betfair Hurdle claims a boost.

Race 7 No1 ALCALA (Nap)

Trainer: Paul Nicholls – Jockey: Angus Cheleda

 

Nicholls struck in the Hunter-chase at Wincanton on Thursday and should also bag this similar contest with ALCALA, whose chasing form under Rules make him the one that prolific point-to-point scorer Salvatore has to beat.

LINGFIELD PARK

 

Race 4 No2 FELIX

Trainer: Marco Botti – Jockey: Richard Kingscote

 

This trial for the Winter Derby can see FELIX upsetting hot favourite Bangkok. The selection nodded out his rival Wolverhampton and on similar terms can show it was no fluke.

Race 5 No1 SYMBOLIC POWER (Nap)

Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: Adam Kirby

 

A costly favourite over course and distance last time, SYMBOLIC POWER can take his revenge on Swindon Noon courtesy of additional blinkers. The headgear can play its part in him ending a run of four earning runs without managing to get his head in front.

Race 7 No4 WALDFABEL

Trainer: John Gosden – Jockey: Rab Havlin

 

Frankel filly WALDFABEL stylishly opened her account at Kempton before Christmas and should be too good for Longsider. The latter returns from more than a year off on debut for his stable and may well struggle to give the selection 5lb.

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