Racing Daily with BetVictor – Jan 16

There is a cracking 2m 5f Handicap Chase at Ascot – weather permitting – on Saturday and BetVictor Gold Cup winner Happy Diva and the progressive Espoire De Gueye currently head the market at 4/1 with BetVictor. Sean Curran’s hat-trick seeking Domaine De Lisle is a fascinating contender, despite a 10lbs rise for scoring at Newcastle last time, and is next in the betting at 7/1.

Wincanton is subject to an 8am inspection this morning and, with further rain forecast and the track reporting standing water on the track at noon on Wednesday, it might be prudent to swerve the meeting.

No problems, at the time of writing, forecast for Ludlow And Market Rasen and we begin our preview at the former where the ground is sure to be testing. In the opener Moon Of Baroda (12.50) has a bit to find with Hijack through Garry Clermont on recent C&D form, but the hope is that he improves for the experience and races more prominently this afternoon. The selection was a stayer on the level and will get more than 2m over timber, but he receives 6lbs from the likely favourite and Hughie Morrison has his string in good form.

The well-bred Allart (1.20) has been entered up for a number of races in recent days, but the rain has scuppered his chances of getting back on track. The selection only got as far as the first when coming down on his hurdles debut at Ascot but the form of his Bumper third at Newbury suggested he was well above average and Lambourn handler Nicky Henderson has been firing in the winners in recent days.

Alamazhar Garde (2.20) must prove as effective going right-handed on soft ground as was the case at Catterick last time, but there was much to like about his win last month when his fast, fluent jumping saw him come 4L clear of Donald McCain’s Pogue. The third has franked the form since and trainer Charlie Longsdon has his string in good form. A 10lbs rise doesn’t help, but he was very impressive at the Garrison track and he gets the vote ahead of course winner Town Parks who has dropped down to a favourable mark.

I am still kicking myself for not taking a chance on Financial Advisor from the Rebecca Curtis yard at Doncaster earlier in the week when the late money suggested the yard had the chaser back to his best. The yard had been quiet in recent months with Rebecca in foal and she gave birth to a daughter a couple of weeks ago. Congrats to all and I do hope Legends Gold (2.55) can win her third race of the campaign with leading conditional Ben Jones taking off a valuable 5lbs.

The selection must give 11lbs to Subway Surf and Kim Bailey’s mare has hinted that a step up to 3m will see her in a better light. She looks a big danger.

It was only a three-runner race that Fix Sun (12.40) won at Sedgefield – only Nicky Henderson’s second ever runner at the course – back in May and his subsequent absence from the track is a concern. That said this doesn’t look the strongest of contests and this soft ground flat winner in France can make it two out of two in Britain in the Market Rasen opener.

The highlight is the listed Mares’ Bumper and Willie Mullins brings the racecourse debutante Panis Attack across the Irish Sea. One could argue that is a tip in itself, but my two against the field are White Hart Lady and Hollymount Holly (2.45) with marginal preference for the Kim Bailey mare who ploughed through the Hereford mud to make all on her British debut last time.

Cavalry Scout (3.50) was well backed when runner up here last time out and trainer Laura Morgan fits her seven-year-old with cheek-pieces for the first time this afternoon. The selection has been raised a couple of pounds for that effort, but that was only his second start over fences, and he is open to further improvement although he was a maiden pointer in his native Ireland.

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