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Best Bets 28th Jan

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12:15 Doncaster – Tupelo Mississippi

He is 0-2 over fences and form figures that show he was 2nd in a match race and then pulled-up don’t overly inspire, but all is not lost with TUPELO MISSISSIPPI. His 2nd placed finish behind Hardy Du Seuil at Carlisle reads well and Sean Quinlan reported that he had lost his action when pulling up at Newcastle. A post-race examination by the Vet confirmed no abnormalities were found and it is porbably best just to put a line through that run as a bad day at the office. He had plenty of solid form over hurdles, especially at left-handed tracks which would suggest that he is well treated on a mark of 122 and this will be the easiest race that he has contested for some time. Brian Ellison has a 14% strike rate over jumps at the Yorkshire track, with 40% of his runners making the frame, so it is perhaps also significant that he sends his 7-year-old here for his 3rd start over fences.

2:25 Doncaster – Ridgeway

Dan Skelton will have no doubt been delighted when he saw the final entries for this race, and it looks to be a good opportunity for RIDGEWAY to make a winning start to his hurdles career. He reached a peak rating of 87 in his time on the Flat with Eve Johnson Houghton and won 2 of his 12 starts, ending with career stats of 2-1-12 and £10,846 prize money. His immediate pedigree doesn’t offer a great deal of optimism for his hurdles career, there are no winners over obstacles in his immediate family and his Sire Outstrip is a Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf winner who is better known for producing speed horses on the flat. His dam, Bocca Bianca was 0-4 on the Flat, but her Sire Saddex brings a decent NH offering to the table as he is the sire of horses like Eklat de Rire and Editeur du Gite. His 2 wins on the flat came on fast ground, so the “Good: ground at Doncaster should suit him well and he is likely to have been very well schooled by the Skelton team, so everything points to a big run on debut.

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