Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
CLOUDY DREAM (Doncaster 2.30) gets the nap vote on a cracking day’s racing. Let’s face it, it would be too easy to go for Vroum Vroum Mag (Doncaster 3.05), In De Sceaux (Cheltenham 1.45) and Thistlecrack (Cheltenham 2.15) and Unowhatimeanharry (Cheltenham 4.0) as our quartet – at current odds, the acca would pay less than 4/1 in any case – and we don’t like being obvious, as our 13/2 winning nap on Thursday proves. So we go for one of the more trappy races of the afternoon. Yes, there are only four runners in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase, but either one of them would hold a good chance. We go for Cloudy Dream on the strength of a fine run behind well-regarded Buveur D’air, conceding 8lb, at Haydock last time. Malcolm Jefferson’s seven-year-old made a winning start to his chasing career at Carlisle in October and followed up at Haydock in soft ground. Ideally he needs a decent gallop in better ground over 2m to show his best. With Marracudja in the line-up, the pace should be solid enough and the good ground will help his finishing kick.
COOLOGUE (Doncaster 3.40) came into his own on winter ground last season, stringing up a trio of runner-up efforts here, including when not beaten far by Ziga Boy in the Great Yorkshire Chase. He goes off a 6lb higher mark in today’s renewal of the competitive 3m handicap, having been just as consistent this term. Charlie Longsdon’s galloping grey landed a 3m1f handicap off a mark of 140 at Cheltenham on is seasonal debut at Cheltenham in October off 140 and while the Hennessy was a tough ask (pulled up), he bounced back, albeit to at a distance to be second to Three Faces West at Newbury again in December. We love horses (an people for that matter) with good attitudes, and while he may not be a top-drawer chaser, you know he will always give his best. We can’t ask for more.
COLE HARDEN (Cheltenham 4.00) may be able to upset the odds in a strong renewal of the Cleeve Hurdle, where Unowhatimeanharry is the clear market leader. We think he could be vulnerable and is a poor bet at current odds for the Stayers’ Hurdle. Cole Harden likes to force the pace and has already won the Group 1 Stayers’ Hurdle here two seasons ago. He was a shock 14/1 winner that day but overturned his Cleve Hurdle fourth with Saphir De Rheu to land the big prize. He had no chance with Thistlecrack in defence of his crown last season, finishing fourth. Connections gave him his chasing debut at Wetherby in early December, but with the Stayers’ hurdling division wide open, he was given another spin over them here in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day. He tried to make all but did not have the finishing kick to stay with Agrapart and L’ami Serge. The ground was softer than ideal that day and better ground should help him today. We simply think a Warren Greatrex’s runner is over-priced at around 25/1.
METRONOMIC (Lingfield Park 1.20) has a tendency to carry his head a little awkwardly and has been beaten twice at fairly short odds on his last two runs for Richard Hannon, yet we feel he has the ability to win a low-grade 7f handicap all-weather against seven three-year-olds who, in one way or another, all have chinks in their armour. The selection can be a little keen so the cheekpieces are retained for a third time and while he is a 10-race maiden, we hope the penny is starting to drop with him.
CHELTENHAM: 12.00 Charli Parcs, 12.35 Burtons Well, 1.10 Foxtail Hill, 1.45 Un De Sceaux, 2.15 Thistlecrack, 2.50 Cause Of Causes, 3.25 Keep In Line, 4.00 Cole Harden, 4.35 Le Rocher
DONCASTER: 12.50 Saint Cajetan, 1.25 Minella Aris, 1.55 Romain De Senam, 2.30 CLOUDY DREAM (NAP), 3.05 Vroum Vroum Mag, 3.40 Coologue, 4.15 Midnight Charm
LINGFIELD PARK: 1.20 Metronomic, 1.50 Oxford Thinking, 2.25 Horsted Keynes, 3.00 Arsenio Lupin, 3.35 Elysian Prince, 4.10 Compton Prince
UTTOXETER: 1.40 Thisonetime, 2.10 Fearless Tunes, 2.45 The Gipper, 3.20 Plasir D’amour, 3.55 Master Jake, 4.30 Makethedifference
KEMPTON PARK: 5.45 Arizona Snow, 6.15 Gentleman Giles, 6.45 Lord Napier, 7.15 Kamra, 7.45 Al Khan, 8.15 Revolutionary War, 8.45 Stonecoldsoba, 9.15 Sixties Idol
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