A cracking days racing and in the opener at Huntingdon this afternoon Give Him Time (1.00) drops back to the minimum trip having travelled strongly over an additional half-mile at Plumpton last time when he palpably failed to get home. The selection is a long-standing maiden and he will need a true test at this trip, but he looked as if a right-handed track would suit him last time and has been dropped a couple of pounds for that effort.

Lord Getaway is chasing his hat-trick in the competitive 3m Novices Handicap Chase and he is only 10lbs higher than when scoring over C&D under a big weight here back in December. James Evans’ 7-y-old has since won over timber and he must go close with underfoot conditions ideal.

The vote, however, goes to Imperial Bay (1.30) who looked a promising sort when winning at Chepstow over hurdles a couple of years ago. The selection has only had a couple of starts since and was tailed off on his chase debut at Chepstow, but that was at the time when the Ben Pauling yard were out of sorts and I would expect a better run this afternoon. The 7-year-old is not the biggest horse in training, but he is athletic and gets the each way vote.

The feature event is the listed Sydney Banks Trophy. Only six go to post but they include Angels Breath our 5/1 market leader for the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival. Nicky Henderson’s grey won an Ascot Grade 2 on his first start over timber but steps up in trip by three-and-half-furlongs although that shouldn’t be a problem given he won his sole point in his native Ireland over three miles.

He must give 5lbs, however, to the unbeaten Emitom (2.00) who has won two Bumpers and both his novice hurdles including over this trip at Ffos Las on his penultimate start. The selection is 25/1 for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and I feel he can cause a bit of an upset in receipt of the weight with the Henderson grey sure to be a short-priced favourite.

The Handicap Hurdle over 2m 4f is an absolute cracker and preference for Not That Fuisse (2.35) is marginal given the quality of the field in this valuable contest. The selection won at Taunton stepped up to this trip last time when he travelled well and a 4lbs rise looks very fair.

Erick Le Rouge was a late withdrawal from Kempton’s Lanzarote Hurdle – well backed – having won his last three starts. Jane Williams’ charge has been raised 22lbs in the weights for that hat-trick of wins, but he looks a big threat to the Dan Skelton runner. Master Blueyes and Misterton are returning from long absences and, whilst today might not be their day, they are worth keeping in mind for other targets later in the season.


Give Him Time (1.00)

Imperial Bay (1.30)

Emitom (2.00)

Not That Fuisse (2.35)

Tips From Huntingdon, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Meydan


Over at Doncaster and Strong Resemblance has been a revelation since joining Oliver Greenall and has won four and finished second twice in his six starts since joining his new yard. The 8-y-old is 10lbs higher than when scoring over C&D in November but he has continued to progress over both fences and hurdles in the interim period and he looks sure to continue to give a good account.

The vote, however, goes to Volt Face (1.40) who looked ready for a return to three miles when runner up at Market Rasen last time. The 10-y-old hasn’t won for almost five years but he has been knocking on the door of late and this looks a good opportunity with the forecast overnight rain a plus.

I hope there is not too much rain for Scarlet Dragon (3.20) in the two-mile Novices’ Hurdle. The selection was impressive when scoring at Huntingdon last time on good to soft ground and similar underfoot conditions would be ideal and make his very hard to beat.


Volt Face (1.40)

Scarlet Dragon (3.20)


Ffos Las

Cloudy Glen (2.25) has done us a couple of favours of late and is taken to land his hat-trick in the 2m 4f Novice Hurdle at Ffos Las. The selection clearly copes well with soft/heavy ground and gets the vote ahead of David Pipe’s Remastered who impressed when scoring here on similar ground back in November.


Cloudy Glen (2.25)

Tips From Huntingdon, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Meydan


At Meydan I hope to see Symbolisation (4.15) make a winning reappearance at the expense of stablemate Nordic Lights in the 9f Turf handicap for Charlie Appleby. William Buick favours Nordic Lights who looks sure to appreciate the return to this trip, having faded close home over an additional furlong here last month.

The selection goes well fresh, however, and is taken to lead home a 1-2 for the Newmarket handler despite carrying top-weight. Likely favourite Desert Fire carries the first-colours of Godolphin for Saeed bin Suroor and is only 4lbs higher than when scoring over a mile here last month, but I feel Symbolisation can make up into a group horse this year and he gets a narrow vote.


Symbolisation (4.15)

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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