Stratford 3.40 tips – African can strike gold on return

Stratford 3.40 tips - African can strike gold on return

Nigel Twiston-Davies

African Gold

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Betting Tip: African Gold @ 6/1 with bet365

Nigel Twiston-Davies has a decent record with horses returning from a layoff and it could therefore be worth taking a chance on the fitness of his AFRICAN GOLD, who is having his first start for 656 days in this afternoon’s 2m3f handicap chase at Stratford (due off 3.40pm).

The seven-year-old has been sidelined with injury since pulling up in a handicap hurdle at Warwick in January 2014, but he returns on what looks like a potentially lenient chase mark of 133 and he was by far the best of these over hurdles. A winner of a bumper here on his racecourse debut, he proceeded to rack up four wins in his novice season and confirmed himself a high-class sort when chasing home At Fishers Cross in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, before finishing fifth in a Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle behind Solwhit.

A big, imposing sort, he was always going to be a better chaser and it was therefore disappointing to see him finish a well beaten fourth as favourite on his chasing bow at Cheltenham in the autumn of 2013, though with hindsight that was a tough introduction and the run would have been needed. Sent off as 1/2 market leader on his next start at Uttoxeter, he was going as well as anything when falling three out and would surely have won had he stayed up. You can ignore his last run at Warwick as the ground was bottomless and he’s always looked happier on a decent surface.

Today’s “good to soft” should be perfect for him and, while he’s conceding weight to some good sorts, he does have a touch of class and has presumably schooled well enough over the larger obstacles to be pitched into handicap company on his return. With his stable in excellent form and with Sam Twiston-Davies booked to do the steering, he looks worth a punt, even though most bookmakers are taking few chances by offering him at just 5/1 – so much for the forecast 10/1!

Betting Tip: African Gold @ 6/1 with bet365

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