RACE PREVIEWS & TIPS (FRIDAY)

14:10 Kempton The best of what looks a tricky day’s racing is at Kempton and this 2m5f contest looks a fascinating one with a number of potentially useful sorts in the line up. The Paul Nicholls yard lines up here with their five-year-old prospect Peak to Peak and the horse is on a recovery mission today after being well outclassed in a Grade One last time when a distance behind the Cheltenham bound Messier Des Obeaux among others last time out. This looks a more suitable level, but the stable form of late has been somewhat underwhelming. Tom Lacey looks to have a decent chance here with Agamemmon who will have the assistance of champion jockey Richard Johnson in the saddle. The five year old has won both a point to point and then a bumper before a coupled of fourth placed efforts over hurdles and he could have more to come, but looks short enough in the market for what he has achieved to date. Dan Skelton’s charge Get On The Yager is the likely favourite here and is clear on the official ratings. He followed up two point to point wins with an impressive bumper win in November before a couple of disappointing efforts over hurdles, but those were at much higher levels than this so it is likely he will enjoy the drop back down to this level. He looks very skinny in the market, however, so a chance is instead taken on Nicky Henderson’s Silent Steps. The Seven Barrows runner had multiple hurdles winner Coillte Lass behind in second when landing her point to point and another recent bumper winner Queens well back in third. It must’ve been a disappointment when only producing a modest effort next time out, but a respectable fifth in a big field last time has renewed hopes for this long term staying prospect. The softer ground and extra distance will be right up her street today and the return of Nico De Boinville in the saddle as well is a further boost, so she looks the value each way bet and gets the nod at double figure price. SILENT STEPS (E/W) – NAP

20:15 Newcastle The final race of Friday takes place on the Tapeta at Newcastle, but hopefully the returning Northern racing hero Paul Hanagan can make it worth the wait for us. He picks up the ride on Tarboosh for Paul Midgely and he looks poised to strike in the finale. The 6f spirit handicap is a tricky field, but the four year old, formerly trained by William Haggas, makes his yard debut. The horse has been dropped another 2lb by the handicapper after running no sort of race last time out, but the horse is now returned to defend his 100% all weather record after landing a 7f maiden at Kempton on his only previous try. The form of that means he may just well treated if his new trainer can find the key to him here today and he looks the solid each way bet. Dangers are a plenty in a tricky and competitive field. Foresight was a 6f maiden winner at Hamilton for David Simcock and now turns out on his stable debut for the Kevin Ryan team. He could very well have more to offer for his new yard, having slipped down the weights like the selection, but the former looks to have more scope despite the drop back in level. Dual course and distance winner Slingsby loves it round Newcastle and so has to rate as the main danger. He is just 2lb higher than for his last win here and hinted at a return to form last time out, but he need further ease from the handicapper before he is winning again. TARBOOSH (E/W)

Written by Graeme Lafferty

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