By News Team
15th January 2021
The ITV cameras head to Warwick and Market Rasen on Saturday for some competitive National Hunt action.
Fresh off tipping five winners last weekend, Nick Luck is back with his selections.
FIDDLERONTHEROOF looks a tempting price at 15/8 to upset Next Destination in Saturday’s TV opener at Warwick, the Hampton Novices’ Chase (1.50pm). While some of his stable have struggled for consistency this season, he has posted a sequence of good performances, while leaving the strong impression that a step up to this trip would suit. Although Next Destination remains a horse of real star potential, he isn’t entitled to be as short as he is given that he is conceding five pounds to the selection.
MAKE ME A BELIEVER looks a solid choice to take a competitive if unspectacular running of the Leamington Novices Hurdle (2.25pm). Time has told he probably faced an impossible task against the really smart Bear Ghylls at Lingfield and, wind op or not, he might not to have had to improve too much to win a nice race at Cheltenham last time. Still, a defeat of Any News – showing plenty of resolution – is no mean achievement, and that should make him very interesting here at 7/2.
THE HOLLOW GINGE (14/1) has been one of the fastest forgotten horses in training after unseating Jamie Bargary midway through last weekend’s Welsh National. He was fancied each-way by a few there, but seems again to be relatively friendless in this less demanding Classic Chase (3.00pm). There’s no doubt he has a nice prize over a marathon trip in him off this mark judged on his staying-on fourth in Newbury’s big handicap in December and the key might be Sam Twiston-Davies taking over in the saddle. He seems to get a better tune out of this horse, having been aboard for three of his four victories and his two career best performances.
THE MACON LUGNATIC comes with risks, but is too tempting to leave alone at 12/1 in the Pertemps Qualifier (3.35pm). There will be a few in here looking to peak further down the track, but the selection would need to win to get in to the Final, and has been equipped with cheekpieces, suggesting connections want to get the maximum from him. He’s a naturally forward going sort that should be well-suited by the track, while his stable is in much better form now than when he was last seen at the beginning of the season. Aggressive tactics suit him best and David Bass, no stranger to that sort of ride, has form figures of 2111 on the horse.
CROOKS PEAK might spring a mild surprise in the first of the televised races at Market Rasen, where I’ll be broadcasting for Racing TV. He was a pretty smart horse for Philip Hobbs, and is now eight pounds lower than his last winning mark. His new trainer has been learning about him, but he travelled quite nicely before cutting out as though something amiss at Kempton, and I’m inclined to give him one more chance at 17/2 given his former appreciation for a small field and class act Edwardstone’s preference for better ground.
VISION DES FLOS is one of a few chasing refugees lining up in the feature hurdle (2.40pm), but his profile over the larger obstacles was getting quite unconvincing and this should be more to his liking at 8/1. He is really well treated on his old form, has still flashed glimmers of ability this season, and has a bit more pace for this track than market leaders Lil Rockerfeller and On The Blind Side, who had a hard race at Kempton last weekend.
EILEENDOVER might normally be quite short for the mares’ bumper (3.15), but the presence of Willie Mullins’s Grangee and the impressive Merry Mistress means she’s relatively backable at 11/8. She has the pedigree to be good as a relative of the stable’s 1000 Guineas heroine Speciosa, plus she has the physique and precocity to suggest that the 11-pound age allowance she receives is going to make her a pretty tough nut to crack.