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13:50 Kempton The opening TV action of the day sees a visit to Kempton for what has traditionally become a decent trial for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham next month. Nicky Henderson sends top novice Charli Parcs here to put his unbeaten record on the line as he looks to further enhance his festival credentials. The four-year-old gave out an eight-length beating to main rival today Master Blueyes over course and distance at Christmas, when never coming off the bridle once and the Henderson horse comes in here off better terms with that rival today. He has to be the only bet here to land the hat trick on route to Cheltenham glory next month. Alan King’s aforementioned Master Blueyes was a subsequent easy winner at Ludlow after that defeat to the selection, and may have come on for that win, but he has buckets loads still to find with his impressive conquerer and he may have to settle for the minor honours failing a mishap from the favourite. An unknown in the pack is Evan Williams’ Evening Hush who was easily accounted for by Triumph Hurdle favourite Defi Du Seuil last time out, but he stayed on well to hold second place late on and would have an each way sniff based on his two previous wins at Exeter and Aintree when making all from the front. He could be the one for the forecast, but doubt he will have enough to trouble the selection. CHARLI PARCS (WIN)

14:05 Lingfield The first action from Lingfield’s track is the trial race for the All Weather Championship sprint final in April and this one looks like it will be fought out by two familiar foes. Lancelot Du Lac has become a superstar on the all weather sprinting ranks winning six of his last seven starts in the discipline. He went down in the sprint final last year from a terrible draw and so will likely make a strong bid again today. He accounted for Boom the Groom and Pretend last time out as he landed the listed Cleeve Stakes, but may not have things all his own way this time around especially with the latter rival. Godolphin’s Pretend had some desperate luck in running when going down in the aforementioned race and only went down by the narrowest of margins despite finishing fifth in a blanket finish on the line. Today he gets a 3lb swing with that rival and he looks nailed on to land this on route to another crack at the big prize in April. The booking of Adam Kirby, who has a great relationship with the horse, only enhances his chance today and he looks the bet of the entire day. The interesting contender and potential diamond in the rough is Kevin Ryan’s Ride like the Wind who has a Group 3 victory to his name in France, so fascinating to see how he gets on in this sphere. PRETEND (WIN) – NAP

14:25 Kempton The second visit of the day to Kempton is for the Grade 2 Pendil Novices chase, but a disappointing turnout for this one sees only four runners line up for this year’s renewal. Only three of those four can realistically win this barring disaster with Zigger Zagger only looking to pick up some prize money for completion here. As a result, this looks like a golden opportunity for Paul Nicholls’ smart novice chaser Frodon to enhance his growing reputation. The horse has won 5 out of his 7 novice starts over fences already this season and is the clear pick here today. Nicky Henderson sends Gold Present here in opposition to the selection and he looked a decent novice chasing prospect when landing his debut in November, but he comes here on a recovery mission having disappointed in a handicap last time out. The main danger will likely come from Harry Fry’s charge Charmix. The useful hurdler took three attempts to get off the mark over the larger obstacles and was on course to follow that up last time out when falling at two out at Exeter last time out, so expect him to give the selection most to do here this afternoon. FRODON (WIN)

14:45 Newcastle The first and only visit north to Newcastle for the ITV Cameras is for the Betfred Eider Chase and this is undoubtedly the most competitive race of the afternoon. Shotgun Paddy has been running well in this sphere for a number of years now and is the typical type of out and out stayer who come to the fore in this type of race. He comes into the race 7lb lower than when runner up here in this twelve months ago, and he is a definite player here, but got to be a concern how often he finds one too good. Sue Smith’s horses are always respected in these type of races and her eight-year-old Smooth Stepper took advantage of a sliding mark to land the spoils over course and distance a few months back. That effort was a career best and despite now being 9lb higher today, he is definitely respected here for this one. Portrait King is a veteran these days, but showed he retained all his ability when sixth of 22 in the Becher Chase back in December and that form holds up well for this one. The poor showing over hurdles last time would be a concern, but a 5lb slide in the weights make him an interesting each way bet. Another interesting contender at a big price is Peter Bowen’s Berea Boru. The nine-year-old relished the switch to larger obstacles last season when landing a hat trick of handicaps on the trot, but has paid the price since then with three modest showings including two this season. He has now been eased back down the weights by the handicapper and with his yard now back in decent form as well as the services of the talented Sean Bowen he is another who is an each way must bet here today. BEREA BORU (E/W) PORTRAIT KING (E/W)

15:00 Kempton Back at Kempton for the Dovecote Novices hurdles and this year’s renewal looks one of the most competitive in years. Capitane was highly touted for Cheltenham Festival success before being humbled by the exciting Finian’s Oscar last time out. He is all ready a class 1 winner and his form at that level reads 212, so he is most certainly a worthy favourite and victory here would further enhance the aforementioned Finian’s Oscar’s credentials, but he has to prove that he is as effective on better ground this afternoon. Similar to Capitane, Alan King’s exciting prospect Elgin was highly touted as one to follow this season and also like today’s rival, he too was comfortably defeated by a smarter horse, this time in the form of Neon Wolf, but he is expected to relish the return to today’s conditions after a previous course and distance win on Boxing Day under this ground he will definitely run his race. Captain Forez is interesting despite going down by some three and a half lengths to Capitane last time out at Ascot, he still caught the eye for his second race in a row and probably wasn’t suited by the hold up tactics. No surprise to see him reverse the form with that rival on the same terms today in different ground and he looks the value pick of the race at an each way price. CAPTAIN FOREZ (E/W)

15:15 Lingfield The Winter Derby showpiece is the next stop back to Lingfield and Jim Crowley is hopeful of landing this prize for his new boss Hamdan Al Maktoum with the talented Mutakayyef here. The horse has yet to be out of the first three in its entire career and he had an impressive two wins from three starts last term. The last of those was a decent third in the Group 1 Juddmonte and his recent 3/4 length third to the international star Tepin at Woodbine in Canada makes him the clear standard bearer in this Group 3 contest for the William Haggas team so he gets the nod. Jamie Osbourne’s Battalion is a worthy adversary having won four times over course and distance. His seasonal reappearance behind Decorated Knight last time out sets a decent benchmark and he could run well if coming on for that run, but even then he has a bit to find with the selection. Marco Botti’s Grendisar is closely matched with Battalion and won’t be far away either having been a narrow fourth behind that rival last time. They look well matched and most likely to pose a problem should the selection fail to fire, but this race looks a straight forward task for the in-form Jim Crowley to make his own. MUTAKAYYEF (WIN)

15:35 Kempton The final trip to Kempton is for the 3m BetBright Chase and this is another competitive looking handicap. Tom George looks to have found the key to Double Shuffle with the step up to 3m recently and his victory at Christmas over course and distance confirmed that., but the good ground has once again come in his favour. The yard love to target this Grade 3 handicap and his charge looks laid out for this one, but the application of the hood that worked wonders that day would have to do the business again today and that is an area of concern. Paul Nicholls’ Irish Saint is another who can make a bold bid here today. The horse was a smart novice chaser two season back and landed the Pendil on this very card that season. He missed the whole of last season through injury, but has hinted at a return to form with three moderate runs this term. He is now on a very workable mark, but a lot has to be taken on faith with him. Another horse who comes into the race in good heart following victory last time out is Dan Skelton’s Three Musketeers. The horse landed a Grade 2 Novice chase last season and looked better than ever when landing the spoils at Market Rasen last time out. The margin of victory that day coupled with the each way price makes him an irresistable each way bet. THREE MUSKETEERS (E/W)


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