Racing tip of the day
Ben Linfoot is backing a Keith Reveley-trained novice chaser at Doncaster this afternoon.
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Victor Hewgo - 2.20 Doncaster
Good, with a capital 'G'.
Good in the going description, Good racing, Good betting opportunities. Doncaster delivers on all fronts today with a fine card consisting of some quality novices and familiar veterans, with the handicap chase containing only the latter a particular highlight; it's full of horses good enough to run well in Cheltenham Gold Cups and Grand Nationals in years gone by.
The Betdaq 500 In Free Bets Handicap Hurdle at 3.55 could contain a National horse too, with Shakalakaboomboom shouldering top weight as he continues on the road to Aintree.
With that race very much the target he's probably best watched today, even though he's rated 10lb lower over hurdles, with several in-form and progressive rivals set to take centre stage.
Matthew Riley should go well after he proved his stamina for three miles behind Sausalito Sunrise last time, but he's been found in the market and it's hard to be confident about his winning chance in a tough race. Potters Cross, seven lengths behind subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Splash Of Ginge last time at Warwick, is a potentially well-handicapped rival.
So for the bet of the day I turn to VICTOR HEWGO in the Betdaq No Premium Charge Novices' Chase at 2.20.
Favourite Holywell is solid in the betting this morning which should ensure a nice price about Victor, and Jonjo O'Neill's market leader looks a little short considering what he's achieved over fences.
The step up to three miles will help him judging by his hurdles form, but you couldn't call him a natural over fences judging by his first two runs in the sphere. Meanwhile, his win last time came on his fourth chase start with his main rival and eventual second Shotavodka making his fencing debut.
Experience counts and no horse is more experienced around Doncaster in this race than Victor Hewgo, an Old Vic gelding with two wins and a second to his name from four starts at the track.
A neck second to Western Warhorse on his chasing debut at the course on January 8, he stepped up in trip to three miles back at Town Moor 16 days later when fairly slamming a fair field by an eased-down eight lengths.
That run (watch it here) shows he has the potential to climb fairly high up the chasing ladder and I don't mind betting at 5/2 that he'll have the beating of Holywell today.
Top Of The Range could get involved too, but he over jumped in victory at Ascot and it cost him when unseating Andrew Tinkler at the first up at Musselburgh. He could be tentative at his obstacles on the back of that, but he'll need to be fast and fluent to get the better of Victor Hewgo.