Free horse racing selections for Sunday February 24

If The Cap Fits returns to action on Sunday
If The Cap Fits returns to action on Sunday

David Clough backs If The Cap Fits to return from a break with victory at Fontwell - he has a tip for every race.

NAP: Red Rising (3.45 Carlisle)

1
811-8OR: 135BFD
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Next Best: If The Cap Fits (2.50 Fontwell)

1
711-9OR: 155D
13/8
Last RunWatch last race

If The Cap Fits can get the better of two previous Netbet Casino National Spirit Hurdle winners in this year's renewal at Fontwell.

Hardy perennial Old Guard bids to follow up his victory in this race last year, and the remarkable Lil Rockerfeller is also back to see if he can regain the title he won in 2016.

Both will race off level weights with If The Cap Fits on Sunday - in Old Guard's case, unlike in the Ascot Hurdle three months ago when he failed by one and a half lengths to concede 6lb to the winner.

That gives him an evident chance of reversing the form here, but there is very good reason to believe the year younger and much more lightly-raced If The Cap Fits has significant scope for further progress.

It was hardly any disgrace to be put in his place by dual champion Buveur D'Air and Verdana Blue in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day and back up to this trip, with fit-again Noel Fehily on board again, Harry Fry's seven-year-old stands out as the likeliest winner.

Lil Rockerfeller, also second in this race last year, may be his toughest rival having had a wind op for this second run back over hurdles following three novice chase wins.

At a much lower level, there appeared to be no fluke about the much-improved performance of Sheila's Fancy in his surprise victory over course and distance last month.

Therefore, it is easy to see the five-year-old - albeit up 9lb - following up in the NetBet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle.

In the closing Netbet Betmaker Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race, Hugos Other Horse catches the eye on breeding as a half-brother to recently-retired national treasure Cue Card.

That brilliant chaser first announced himself with a breath-taking bumper win on debut at this course, back in 2010.

Hugos Other Horse has already had a sighter, when it took him a while to get the message in fourth at Wincanton over Christmas. But Paul Nicholls' five-year-old can prove the value of that initial experience.

At Carlisle, the long-distance travellers may be in business.

In-form Christian Williams does not mind a trek in search of a winner and he sends Cottonvale up from the Glamorgan coast for the opening Racingtv.com Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

The eight-year-old was closer to home when he found only subsequent chase winner Briac too good at Ffos Las last month.

Before then, Cottonvale appeared to be in the process of beating another future scorer - stablemate Uno Mas - when he fell at the last at Hereford.

He has the form to go well again here, off only 4lb higher.

Dan Skelton's pair Allonok and Red Rising will not be on the road quite so long from Warwickshire.

They too could make it pay, though.

Allonok has not yet revealed himself above average in two bumper runs - but he probably will not need to be on jumps debut to take the Watch Irish Racing On Racing TV Novices' Hurdle.

Then in the Introducing Racing TV Chase, Red Rising can give the weight away on his handicap debut over fences after being highly-tried and having performed with credit in defeat in three decent novices.

Naas takes centre stage in Ireland, with Graded races over hurdles and fences.

Away from them, Willie Mullins' well-regarded Fast Buck is highly likely to live up to his name by seeing off a big field in the opening Naas Rugby Club Maiden Hurdle.

Sporting Life selections:

CARLISLE: 2.10 Cottonvale, 2.40 Le Drapeau, 3.10 Allonok, 3.45 Red Rising, 4.15 Pistol, 4.45 Divine Port, 5.15 Stainsby Girl.

FONTWELL: 1.50 Flight Commander, 2.20 Whatswrongwithyou, 2.50 IF THE CAP FITS (NAP), 3.25 Ashutor, 3.55 Sheila's Fancy, 4.25 Shantou Flyer, 4.55 Hugos Other Horse.

NAAS: 1.30 Fast Buck, 2.00 So Enjoy, 2.30 Poker Party, 3.00 Milan Native, 3.35 Cadmium, 4.05 Curious Times, 4.35 Kayf Thou, 5.05 Midnight Run.

DOUBLE: Red Rising and If The Cap Fits.

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