Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
ICE COOL CHAMPS (Hereford 2.30) had a previous winner in behind when a well-backed runner-up to Marten on his bumper debut at Warwick on New Year’s Eve and may be able to go one better now upped in trip. That run, against some well-regarded types from a couple of in-form stables, was over 2m. Out of an unraced half-sister to high-class stayer Shotgun Willy and Welsh National winner Mini Sensation, he is bred for further and gets an extra 3½f for his first try over hurdles in a maiden. Heavy ground may well suit this Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old who is sure to go on to better things after this.
SOME ARE LUCKY (Leicester 3.40) may or may not be aptly-named, depending on whether you punting glass is half full or half empty. Tom George’s six-year-old has been placed in his last six races, but has only managed to win one of those – a 2m4½f maiden hurdle at Southwell last March. Twice runner-up over trips just short of 3m at Uttoxeter and Chepstow in the autumn, he made his chasing debut on New Year’s Eve at Newbury in a decent novices’ event and was involved in a three-way finish with Belami Des Pictons and Aurillac, coming off worse with that duo. He could not quite hold on, having made the running and this former pointer should do better in handicaps. His mark of 132 is a fair one and in what looks a fascinating novices’ limited handicap, he should be in the mix.
AMERICAN PATROL (Kempton Park 2.20) has to overcome a penalty to land the 1m handicap, but regular readers to this column will know that our admiration for jockey Adam Kirby knows no limits and his partnership with the Neil Mulholland-trained three-year-old means we have confidence that if good enough, he will be thereabouts when it matters. He has had only five lifetime starts and while no world-beater, he caught the eye at Chelmsford on his handicap debut before justifying favouritism at Wolverhampton last time. It did look a very weak race but he scored easily and should get this extra furlong without too much trouble.
MEHDI (Newcastle 6.30) also has one of the best on board. It will be worth following Paul Hanagan this year. He is back in the north after what he will probably consider to be a relatively modest association with Sheikh Hamdan’s horses, and while his usual affable and chipper self last year, inwardly the former champion jockey will have been questioning what more he could have done to make a difference. In truth, he never had the firepower. A confident Hanagan is almost unbeatable. We have no doubt he will soon be making headlines again – he is far too good to be out of the spotlight for long. That aside, he will need plenty of guile to get this one’s nose in front. Mehdi is on a losing run of 35 but has been finally dropping in the weights and there were signs in defeat at Wolverhampton last time that he could be on the verge of ending that barren run. It may happen in the 7f classified stakes.
HEREFORD: 1.30 Miracle Cure, 2.00 Dig Deeper, 2.30 ICE COOL CHAMPS (NAP), 3.00 Colin’s Brother, 3.30 Goodtoknow, 4.00 Stone, 4.30 Runasimi River
KEMPTON PARK: 2.20 American Patrol, 2.50 Drumochter, 3.20 Envisaging, 3.50 East Coast Lady, 4.20 Pearl Spectre, 4.50 Alcatraz, 5.20 Thomas Blossom
LEICESTER: 2.10 Sonny The One, 2.40 Dusty Raven, 3.10 Allee Bleue, 3.40 Some Are Lucky (nb), 4.10 Full Irish, 4.40 Moscow Me
NEWCASTLE: 4.25 Go George Go, 5.00 Bloomin Lovely, 5.30 Royal Celebration, 6.00 Tailor’s Row, 6.30 Mehdi, 7.00 Art Obsession
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