Chris Baker: Mullins raider can strike at Sandown

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Today's tips come from Sandown, Wetherby and Lingfield.
Today's tips come from Sandown, Wetherby and Lingfield.

I’m back from my two-night stay in the Peak District, where I was surrounded by fresh country air, stunning views and idyllic villages. It sounds lovely doesn’t it? Add in 28 eight-year-old children, many of whom were away from home for the first time, and it probably doesn’t have the same appeal. We did actually have an excellent time exploring, abseiling and caving, but it was great to get back in my own bed and catch up on some sleep.

Leading the Year 4 residential visit also meant two days away from racing, so I’m really looking forward to today’s action. I’ve picked out four bets across the cards at Sandown, Wetherby and Lingfield. Good luck if you decide to follow.

Sandown Tips

The Grade 1 Betway Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at 14:25 looks a really good opportunity for LAURINA (2/1) to get back to winning ways following a really disappointing effort at Leopardstown last time out. A grade one winner over hurdles and fourth in last season’s Champion Hurdle, this Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old got off the mark over fences on her seasonal reappearance at Gowran Park. She was then pulled up on her second start, but that below-par effort was later attributed to an exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage. She’s unbeaten in four attempts over today’s 2m4f distance, won on her only previous visit to Sandown and appears to relish testing ground.

The £100,000 Grade 3 Betway Heroes Handicap Hurdle at 15:00 can go to the in-form six-year-old GO WHATEVER (12/1). Chris Gordon’s progressive hurdler has won his last two starts in good style, including over today’s course and distance. He’s been raised 6lbs by the handicapper but is open to further improvement and will race off joint bottom weight today. He’s well suited by testing conditions and has Jamie Moore in the saddle for the first time. Moore is one of the leading jockeys at Sandown with a 21% strike-rate in recent years.

Chris Baker's P&L

Wetherby Tip

I’m a big fan of Kim Bailey-trained three-mile chasers and his seven-year-old novice NEWTIDE (NAP at 4/1) can make it 2-2 over fences by landing the Grade 2 contest at 14:45. A dual winner over hurdles, this lightly-raced gelding made a winning start to his career over the larger obstacles when going clear at Ffos Las on his seasonal reappearance in November. With plenty of improvement likely and race conditions to suit, this looks a good opportunity for connections to see if he is up to taking his chance at Cheltenham next month (entered in the RSA Chase and National Hunt Chase).

Lingfield Tip

HERM (11/2) is my selection for the closing race on the card at 16:05. Although all four of his wins on the All-Weather have come at Wolverhampton, he has been placed on three of his four previous visits to Lingfield. With wins over 1m 4f and 1m 6f to his name, this intermediate distance of 1m 5f could prove ideal. He is only 3 lb higher than for his last win and has P J McDonald in the saddle for the first time.

Tip

14:25 Sandown
Laurina silk

Laurina

Tip

14:45 Wetherby
Newtide silk

Newtide

won

Tip

15:00 Sandown
Go Whatever silk

Go Whatever

placed

Tip

16:05 Lingfield
Herm silk

Herm

placed
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