Due to the unseasonably dry weather, small fields are the order of the day for Thursday’s National Hunt meetings at Wincanton and Kelso. There are still plenty of winners to be found however and we will provide a Horse Racing tip, preview and prediction for the feature handicap chase at the Somerset racecourse, the 3m 1f Dick Hunt Handicap Chase at 4.10pm.
Over at the Scottish Borders track, our Horse Racing tips come in the first and last races on the card, a 3m 2f handicap hurdle at 1.40pm and at 4.20pm a 2m 5f handicap hurdle.
“Tip of the Day” – Famous Bridge – 4.20pm Kelso
The Nicky Richards-trained novice could have been let in lightly here on his handicap debut and can provide leading jockey Brian Hughes with yet another winner.
Chapel Stile (Longshot) – 1.50pm Kelso
A market move for Irish raider Highland Sting should be taken seriously on the gelding’s handicap debut after running against some decent novices in his native land this season, despite looking outclassed.
Cases can be put forward for both Final Reminder and Kaizer based on recent efforts but it could be worth taking a chance on top weight Chapel Stile on the gelding’s return to hurdling.
The Nicky Richards-trained 10-year-old is well handicapped over the smaller obstacles and is capable of conceding weight all round if the mount of Sean Quinlan runs up to anything like his best over a trip that suits.
Jeremy Pass (Next Best) – 4.10pm Wincanton
Only six runners for this staying handicap chase but a fascinating race all the same. Didero Vallis, Christmas In April and El Paso Wood are all capable of winning a race of this nature. But it is the two horses just out of novice company who may well fight out the finish, namely top weight Rapper and Jeremy Pass.
The two horses met in a three-horse affair at Ascot last November, in which the latter came out on top by four lengths. Henry Daly’s charge is now 1lb better off at the weights and has since recorded an easy victory at Catterick.
However, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old has really impressed with his jumping to date and the mount of Harry Cobden is fancied to win for the second time over fences.
Famous Bridge (NAP) – 4.20pm Kelso
Fifteenth in last season’s County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Irish raider Saint D’oroux could go well if fit enough on his seasonal reappearance. While the Brian Ellison-trained Ashington will appreciate this good ground, although Sean Quinlan’s mount will need to step up on a couple of poor efforts this season, the most recent when finishing last behind fellow rival Aurora Thunder.
The horse who makes most appeal however is the unexposed novice Famous Bridge, making his handicap debut on what could prove to be a lenient mark of 117 and in the hands of leading jockey Brian Hughes.
The Nicky Richards-trained son of Fame And Glory has done little wrong in his three novice hurdle runs, including when proving just too good for a decent horse of Warren Greatrex’ in High Stakes at Ayr last November.
In receipt of weight from all but one of his rivals, the six-year-old is fancied to continue his progression before stepping up in class.
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