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Some fantastic racing on offer today and Wakanda can land the nap for us in the feature betting race of the day, the Handicap Chase at Doncaster due off at 3.15.
Last year over the course and distance in the Grimthorpe Chase, the Sue Smith charge finished third to the classy Definitly Red off a handicap mark of 150.
The nine-year-old now finds himself running off a 5lbs lower mark here and comes to the race off a cracking second in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby.
The selection gets the vote over Vibrato Valtat and his last time out conqueror Mustmeetalady.
The main festival clues will be at Cheltenham on Trials day and with no Coneygree in the Cotswold Chase at 2.25 Bristol De Mai should be very hard to beat.
The Lancashire Chase winner won’t mind any further rain — in fact, connections will positively be praying for more of the wet stuff.
The selection was never really going in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but this is more his cup of tea and even though he is a short price he is entitled to be against the likes of Tea for Two and American.
The last named also revels in the mud, while of the outsiders Singlefarmpayment could outrun his current odds of around 25/1.
The Cleeve Hurdle at 3.35 looks a cracking renewal and Finian’s Oscar can emerge triumphant on his return to hurdles after disappointing during his brief novice chase campaign.
This will be the first time he has run over three miles, but he won a point to point over that distance and gets a confident vote over the likes of Relkeel winner Wholestone and The Worlds End.
Earlier on there is a very competitive two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at 1.50 in which Shantou Flyer can step up on his fourth in the race last year.
That day he raced off a mark of 156, but is a full 3lvs lower this time around and won’t mind any further rain that is strongly predicted in the forecast from around 11am.
The Ballymore Classic Novices Hurdle at 3.00 looks very competitive and, if course and distance winner Tikkanbar can sort out his jumping problems, he could go close to completing the hat-trick.
But, in receipt of 5lbs from him, the Nicky Henderson-trained Pacific De Baune could be the one to side with.
Highly regarded by his yard, the selection absolutely dotted up in his maiden hurdle last time out to the tune of seven lengths and looks sure to be suited by this extra half-mile on this stiffer track.
On the all-weather front, Aquarium should get us off to a good start in the opener at Lingfield Park at 1.25, while later on the feature Handicap over a mile-and-a-half at 3.10 looks set to go to Intrepidly at a fair price with Ryan Moore on board.
The evening card comes from Kempton Park and off top weight Helvetian has solid claims in the 7.15. However, at a much bigger price have a second look at the Gary Moore-trained Gossiping in the seven-furlong event at 7.45.
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