Our resident tipster puts up five horses who are worth backing this Saturday afternoon.
Theres’s quality to action wherever you look this afternoon and punters are advised to take a selective approach, with the following five horses all worth a second look.
PERFECT PASTURE (2.35pm Doncaster) @ 9/1 Betway
I do like the challenge of a big-field sprint and especially when the reward is a 9/1 winner. The selection hasn’t won since January, that coming on the all-weather at Southwell, but he served notice that his turn was near when finishing third (of 20) over this trip at York last time. He’s been raised 3lb for that effort, but he still looks well treated on a mark of 92, which is 5lb lower than his last winning one, and his burden is reduced further by his rider Nathan Evans’ 7lb claim. The ground was “soft” on the Knavesmire last time so the forecast rain holds no fears for him.
ROALCO DE FARGES (3.20 Cheltenham) @ 5/1 bet365
Philip Hobbs has been in firing in the winners of late, with a 35% strike rate this last fortnight alone, and he loves winning this 3m1f handicap chase – the ten-year-old was giving him his fifth success in seven runnings 12 months ago. He failed to score in five subsequent starts but three of those came on right-handed tracks and he’s yet to score in that direction. Now back down to a mark just 4lb higher than 12 months ago and best fresh, he can repeat the trick.
GOLD FUTURES (3.05 Kelso) @ 5/2 William Hill
The Nicky Richard-trained six-year-old has done well so far over fences, winning twice from six starts, but he’s only had one run over a staying trip due to a lack of suitable races. That came over 3m at Bangor in July and he duly landed that handicap chase by three-and-a-half lengths, before a couple of solid efforts in Listed company. Described by his trainer as a “nice staying chaser in the making”, this could be his last run before a break as he’s never going to be suited by deep winter ground, and I fancy he can give weight and a beating to his six rivals.
FOUNTAINS WINDFALL (5.40 Cheltenham) @ 9/2 bet365
This is a hot renewal of a bumper that was won by Moon Racer 12 months ago and the winner is bound to be very decent. The bookmakers have High Bridge as favourite and he’s respected, but the selection is no slouch himself. It was just a small bumper he won on his debut at Fontwell, but he could not have have been more impressive and his trainer Anthony Honeyball was very complimentary about him in a recent Stable Tour, saying he’d come on a lot for the experience and was “acting more like a racehorse”. The fact he’s booked Barry Geraghty to ride the four-year-old is a tip in itself.
DARK AVENGER (8.10 Chelmsford) @ 9/1 bet365
Jamie Osborne’s three-year-old has yet to get his head in front after 12 starts, which has to explain his big price, but he’s shown more than enough on his last two starts at this track to suggest he can win a race off his current rating. Two starts back he ran a blinder to finish second over a mile, despite a bad draw, and his latest sixth over course and distance can be upgraded as he did best of those to force what turned out to be too fast a pace. If ridden with a little more restraint this evening, he can beat eight rivals, none of whom are sharply progressive.