Racing commentator Simon Holt provides three selections for Saturday's TV racing at Kempton and Warwick.
Simon Holt's best bets
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
DIESE DES BIEFFES looks likely to start favourite for Saturday's 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton, and there is every reason to believe that Nicky Henderson's novice is well weighted.
Successful in his first two starts this season at Fontwell and Taunton, beating subsequent winners Highway One O One and Show On The Road respectively, the five-year-old was then raised in class on Boxing Day when splitting leading Supreme Novices' Hurdle fancy If The Cap Fits and Solomon Grey over just two miles on this course.
It is easy to think that Diese Des Bieffes will be well suited by this step up trip as he got a little outpaced that day after three out before rallying bravely from the second last.
A mark of 135 could well underestimate him as there is a strong case that If The Cap Fits (145) and Solomon Grey (130) should be rated higher based on their previous victories and, with Henderson deciding to take another 5lb off by using rising conditional Mitch Bastyan for the first time, the selection appears to have obvious claims.
Henderson also runs William Henry who returns to hurdling after jumping badly right on his debut over fences at Cheltenham in November.
A useful novice over hurdles last term, he is quite closely weighted with Topofthegame (fourth) on his second to the smart Wholestone back at Cheltenham a year ago, a race in which the Challow Hurdle winner Poetic Rhythm finished third.
The hugely promising James Bowen takes the mount, but I think William Henry's stable companion looks better handicapped.
Topofthegame, a tall horse with any amount of potential, also switches to hurdles after a fall (when travelling well) on his chase debut at Newbury in early November and, on his neck second to subsequent Aintree runner-up Beyond Conceit at Ascot (level weights) last February (probably an improvement on his Cheltenham effort), he could be well in as, not only the winner, but De Dollar Man (third), Acting Lass (fourth) and Tintern Theatre (fifth) have all done well since.
With Beyond Conceit now rated 145, there is every chance that his rating of 139 is lenient.
Interestingly, Topofthegame's easy nine-length point-to-point win at Belclare in March, 2016 came at the expense of No Hassle Hoff and Brave Eagle, now rated 141 and 136 respectively.
Of the others, dual course winner River Frost looks sure to be thereabouts after staying on well over a slightly shorter trip behind Court Minstrel and the much-improved Sam Spinner at Chepstow in October.
In addition, Alan King's likeable gelding was far from disgraced when beaten just over eight lengths into ninth behind Supasundae in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham last March.
At Warwick, in-form mare CRESSWELL BREEZE is taken to land the Betfair Classic Handicap Chase.
Successful at Fontwell on her reappearance in November when beating subsequent winner Cyclop and Rathlin Rose (a creditable sixth in last week's Welsh National), Sean Bowen's mount had every chance in the London National at Sandown just under three weeks later until going through the final fence.
Turning for home that day, Cresswell Breeze and eventual winner Benbens kicked clear of their rivals suggesting they were the best horses in the race with Sugar Baron eventually running on late to split them and Topper Thornton finishing fifth. The selection's trainer Anthony Honeyball continues to enjoy an excellent season.
Earlier, SYKES can continue his resurgence for trainer Nicky Martin by landing the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.
A winner in the heavy at Ffos Las in November, the nine-year-old was then collared close home by Arthur's Gift at Cheltenham. The latter let down the form next time, as did third-placed Jester Jet, but they both came into that race on a roll and fourth-placed Shantou Bob was a very good second to Flemcara at Chepstow last week.
Related horse racing links
- Free horse racing betting tips
- All today's racecards
- Today's fast results
- Today's full results
- Today's Goings
- Today's Naps Table
- ABC Guide
- Sky Bet's horse racing odds
Posted at 1150 GMT on 12/01/18.