Rely on Briar and Post to deliver

  • By: Nick Grant
  • Last Updated: January 5 2014, 16:28 GMT

Nick Grant provides a tip for every race on Sunday and expects Briar Hill to continue his path to Cheltenham with a win at Naas.

Briar Hill: Could go to the very top over hurdles
Briar Hill: Could go to the very top over hurdles

NAAS: 12.30 Chute Hall, 1.00 Mozoltov, 1.30 Briar Hill, 2.00 Luke's Benefit, 2.30 Aibrean, 3.00 Rory's Brother, 3.30 Champoleon.

PLUMPTON: 12.50 Dubawi Island, 1.20 Brick Red, 1.50 Brave Vic, 2.20 Mudita Moment, 2.50 Reblis, 3.20 Upton Mead, 3.50 Edmaaj.

SOUTHWELL: 12.40 Pearl Noir, 1.10 Ivestar, 1.40 Greenhead High, 2.10 FIRST POST (NAP), 2.40 Searchlight, 3.10 La Estrella, 3.40 Afro.

DOUBLE: First Post and La Estrella.

First Post is an interesting one in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Southwell.

Derek Haydn Jones' seven-year-old acts on the Fibresand and is also a course-and-distance winner from back in his three-year-old days.

A second place immediately followed that win at the Nottinghamshire venue, but he was not seen again at Southwell until the recent festive period, when he ran a not-disgraced fifth to Greyfriarschorista.

Added merit from that effort comes from it being his first run since October, and he was giving the winner weight.

Much better off with Tom Keddy's reopposing Greyfriarschorista this time, the selection is not badly handicapped at the moment and has won in the past off his current mark.

It is also fair to assume he will strip a bit sharper for that Christmas outing.

If it is a seller or a claimer on the all-weather, look no further than La Estrella.

Don Cantillon's sublime 11-year-old is invariably different class in these events, and has the chance for a 23rd success on an artificial surface in the Coral Mobile Just Three Clicks To Bet Selling Stakes.

The old boy made an appearance here last month for his first run anywhere since a day out at Royal Ascot in June and fairly dotted up.

Keep the faith for another heartwarming win.

A 'jump and run' effort might be the order of the day for Pearl Noir in the bookmakers.co.uk "Hands And Heels" Apprentice Series Handicap.

Scott Dixon's four-year-old rarely puts in a below-par effort at Southwell and judged on his bustling effort from the front over six furlongs when just denied a week ago, similar tactics over a furlong less might reap a winning reward.

Reblis has had the At The Races Sussex National at Plumpton as a target since rejoining Gary Moore and has conditions in his favour from near the bottom of the weights.

A confirmed mudlark with a definite liking for the tight, rural track, Moore immediately pointed towards the £25,000 test after victory in December.

He was pulled up in this race 12 months ago when with Charlie Longsdon, but was at the head of the weights on that occasion and appears to have been rejuvenated for the return to familiar surroundings.

Brick Red can take full advantage of the ground-related absence of Rock On Ruby to get his fencing career off to the perfect start in the Follow AtTheRaces On Twitter Novices' Chase.

Progressive in the handicap ranks over timber and placed in good novice events at Kempton and Kelso, he bowled along quite well for a long way before being eased after losing third behind My Tent Or Yours at Aintree in April.

The majority of his wins have had the word 'soft' in the going description so conditions should hold no fears.

Briar Hill looks like strengthening his big-race prospects for the spring with victory in the Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas.

Just one of a number of top prospects in this division for Willie Mullins, the Graham Wylie-owned six-year-old somehow went off at 25/1 for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

So far he has looked accomplished in two hurdling starts, and while not beating much - just one horse, in fact, last time out - there is little doubt he possesses a big engine and the sky is pretty much the limit just now.