Full speed ahead

  • By: Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: December 31 2012, 10:27 GMT

Ian Brindle picks out a best bet, a longshot and a horse in focus to consider ahead of today's action.

Philip Hobbs: Trainer of Horizontal Speed

Bet Of The Day: Horizontal Speed 3.40 Uttoxeter

Philip Hobbs' record with his bumper performers has been surprisingly modest this season with just two winners from 23 starters, though in fairness to the Minehead handler, he has registered a number of placed efforts among that sample.

Horizontal Speed was no match for Fiddlers Bid at Ascot having travelled well for the majority of that contest and with the combination of heavy going and the undulations of the track, the stamina of the former point-to-point prospect can come fully into play.

Salto Chisco could be the fly in the ointment from the Donald McCain stable. His dam is a full sister to the very smart Dato Star, and the yard have hit the mark with their last couple of bumper runners at Towcester and Sedgefield.

Today's Longshot: Desert Strike 3.00 Lingfield

Having tipped up a lightly raced sort as the best bet, it's over to a 106-race veteran for the best longshot on Lingfield's card.

Conor Dore's six-year-old was desperately disappointing over C&D last week but he's been dropped a further 2lb which entitles him to get in on the ceiling of this 0-65 handicap.

There are no shortage of horses that like to stay on from the rear, including the evergreen Chjimes (also trained by Dore) and while he is likely to be a warm order, Desert Strike looks worth a look at longer odds as his draw of eight places him directly behind the two probable pace angles of Golconde and Baby Dottie.

Horse In Focus: Solwhit 1.35 Punchestown

It's been no fewer than 708 days since we've seen Charles Byrnes' stable star on the racecourse and the eight-year-old takes a drop in grade to race in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle

A smart performer on his day, he had the misfortune to come up against the imperious Hurricane Fly on three occasions during the 2011/12 season and was sadly unable to account for his nemesis despite the adoption of different tactics on each.

Chasing may well be an option post this reappearance bow but it's worth noting that he's gone well fresh previously and has been back in work since July.

This is certainly no gimme as Bog Warrior (while better known over the larger obstacles) routed a field off from an extremely helpful handicap mark last time and has proven form with the going hock deep.

Staying Article floundered last month at Cork when odds-on for a similar race though Edward O'Grady steps him up in trip and Barry Geraghty is aboard.


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