A full round-up of our best free bets for Saturday January 25, including racing at Cheltenham, Doncaster and Lingfield and FA Cup football involving Tottenham, Chelsea and Millwall.
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It took new connections a couple of races to work out Cliffs Of Dooneen but the former Ballydoyle inmate took a distinct step in the right direction here last time and can strike in the Betway Handicap.
Initially campaigned over staying trips he was dropped to a this course and distance (a mile-and-a-half), and finished strongly to chase home Battle Of Marathon.
It was a fun full of promise and he is still a pound below the mark from which he won a Curragh handicap for Aidan O’Brien. It was also his first run after an eight-month break so improvement is expected. If it arrives he’ll be hard to beat.
Harry Fry looks to have spotted a good opportunity for Litterale CI in the Napoleons Casino & Restaurant Owlerton Sheffield Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster (2.40) on Saturday.
The Grade 2 market is dominated by fans’ favourite Lady Buttons, but, while she has a fine record at Doncaster, she might have a job on conceding 6lb to Fry’s mare this weekend as I’m not convinced she’s as good over hurdles as she is over fences.
That’s the same amount of weight she’d have to concede to JP McManus’ charge in a handicap and it gives the seven-year-old a good chance of upsetting the odds.
Litterale Ci goes well after a two-month break, winning off that sort of absence on three occasions in the past, so her 77-day lay-off looks very much a positive here.
So is the drying ground and the two-mile trip, while Fry has a fine record at Doncaster, as his 33 per cent strike-rate underlines, and the talented Jonjo O’Neill Jr takes the ride.
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Ben Pauling has always loved Gowiththeflow and while he’s yet to win a race from four starts over fences, now could be the time to strike with the seven-year-old.
He ran a big race in open company at Kempton earlier in the month, almost gunning down Erick Le Rouge who got first run under Lizzie Kelly.
Gowiththeflow has gone up 5lb in the weights for that defeat but was a really classy novice hurdler in his youth – beating Paisley Park on one occasion at Doncaster – and shouldn’t be handicapped out of things from a revised rating of 133.
He’ll need to go up again if he’s to make the cut for the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and, providing he can build on that run, he looks to hold a strong chance against plenty of other novices who have effectively shown their hand to a greater extent already this season.
King Roland has been held in high regard by Harry Fry from the outset and while he's officially got a little bit to find on the figures, he has huge potential to improve beyond these rivals.
The battle-hardened seven-year-old held an entry in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham on the same afternoon, however, I'm glad that connections have elected to go down this route as his runner-up effort behind Redford Road at Cheltenham's International Meeting - over this 3 mile trip - rates a solid piece of form.
If this were a handicap Champagne Well would have to concede 7lbs to the favourite therefore the 3lbs weight concession does not concern me.
The fact that connections have sent him to Doncaster over Cheltenham should not be ignored and his experience, which includes a solid runner-up effort behind the potentially top-class Thyme Hill in November, could prove invaluable given the demands of this contest.
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Chelsea haven't lost an FA Cup tie away at lower league opposition for 12 years, but their form has been patchy at best of late and their away form, which was their strength, is now a concern.
They were lucky to win at Arsenal, played brilliantly at Tottenham but were also off the pace and bullied in defeats at Everton and Newcastle and were held at Brighton. So if there is a blueprint to beat Frank Lampard's side it seems to be to muscle them out of the reckoning.
Hull are the definition of average this season, midtable in the Sky Bet Championship with 11 wins and 11 defeats and having won three and lost three of their last six - they can turn it on at times and it's well within them to shock a Chelsea team that won't be at full strength.
Hull and in particular Jared Bowen will offer a decent goal threat, and Chelsea have kept just two cleans sheets away from home all season. Hull can score but it may not be enough.
With Leicester having the upcoming Carabao Cup semi-final second leg in their sights, Brentford can at least run them close in this tie
Brendan Rodgers is likely to rotate his side, like we saw in the earlier stages of the EFL Cup, with players such as James Justin, Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton and Dennis Praet expected to be handed opportunities to impress.
While promotion from the second tier is their bread and butter, the hosts have a free hit and a great chance to test themselves against a top-half Premier League side.
With the expectation of them running City close, the 11/8 available on a one-goal winning margin is tempting, with the benefit of either side doing so getting you the win.
If you fancy Leicester to edge it, that is a best price of 11/4 anytime but we will stick with the first option.
In the FA Cup third round Chris Wilder played a full reserve side against non-league AFC Fylde and he’s likely to do the same again at Millwall on Saturday.
He has some experienced players but they simply have little game time as hardly any changes or injuries have happened to the first team core of 13/14 players. This FA cup tie will be an old style proper physical test.
I watched Millwall play Reading last week and they bullied the Royals on a terrible pitch and it’ll be more of the same.
Millwall have now lost one game in 13 and they've won their last three games at the New Den and they have goal threats in many areas.
Burton's recent form has fired them firmly back into contention for a play-off spot, with Nigel Clough's men having won five of their last six Sky Bet League One fixtures.
That puts them third in the home form charts over the past five games and they take on an Accrington side with just one win in their last five league games away.
Burton are the football NAP for this weekend's Sky Bet EFL action with even money across the board available on them securing all three points on offer.
It's worth squeezing that extra bit of value though and going with a home victory and a comfortable margin with it. There's a best price of 14/5 available on Burton -1 which is too good to turn down in this one.
We're backing Sky Bet Championship side MILLWALL to get the better of Premier League Sheffield United. Gary Rowett's side are unbeaten in their last six across all competitions and have won their last four at home.
West Brom may be flying in the Championship but their priority will not be in this competition and that's why we're looking at WEST HAM for victory in front of their own fans.
Finally, Jose Mourinho will have one eye on this competition as he looks to bring early success to TOTTENHAM and they will be aiming to beat fellow Premier League side Southampton.