Triple Champion Hurdle winning jockey Steve Smith Eccles previews the action.
Lightly raced this season with only the three runs, SHATABDI warrants some interest in the 2.50 at Newbury. She did win at Huntingdon the race before last over two and a half miles back in December, comfortably beating Aimigayle and Rate Of Knots, two of today’s opposition. She also ran well enough in defeat last time at this track when fourth to Planet Of Sound over two and a quarter miles on soft ground and stepping back up in trip and on this faster ground which will suit ideally, she must have every chance. Although not the biggest of mares, she jumps well for her young pilot and looks sure to be in the shakeup here while main market rival Jaunty Flight would prefers a lot softer ground while Ping Pong Sivola has gone up nine pounds in the weights after a hard race at Cheltenham and may be weighted out of it here.
RAVELLO BAY in the 3.30 catches the eye. Early money for the Henderson horse has seen her backed down to favourite this morning and after finishing third at Sandown last time out over the totally inadequate trip of two miles she will be seen to much better effect back at a more sensible trip. She had previously won over two miles five furlongs at Huntingdon and should go very close today though I am a little worried about the well regarded Argento Luna and it should be an interesting race.
At Lingfield this afternoon I like RE BAROLA in the 3.05. Trained here in Newmarket by Marco Botti I did hear that he was far from fully wound up for his return to action when taking the Winter Derby trial over course and distance four weeks ago and is a shoe in to show considerable improvement as witnessed in recent home gallops. He certainly represents better value for money than the favourite and will show a profit if finishing in the first three yet in my mind has every chance of winning. Bronze Cannon has also been working well and is considered a big danger and could be the one for the forecast backers here.
JESSE JAMES is expected to win the 5.25 for trainer John Gosden. He looks to be a penalty kick after two runs including a second spot to a decent sort at Newmarket over seven furlong in October, has been showing up nicely on the home gallops and will relish this step up to a mile and he should prove very difficult to beat
At Stratford keep an eye on SURE SUSIE SURE in the bumper at 5.10 who looks the best bet on the card. She did well to get back in to contention after suffering interference finishing third in a twenty runner Doncaster bumper on her only start, and with the runner up winning since the form looks solid. She is sure to have learnt a lot from that experience and she looks the one they all have to beat though with so many unknowns in bumpers, I cannot make her an account bet today.
Finally, at Haydock it looks likely to be a good day for followers of champion jockey A P McCoy who rides at least four short priced favourite who all ought to score so perhaps a small accumulator could yet pay dividends?
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