Thursday’s tips for racing at Wetherby and Towcester

The 48-hour declarations were published yesterday for Good Friday’s £1 million All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield and it promises to be another top class day of flat action with the Kevin Ryan trained filly Ashadian (2/1 at BetVictor) one I am particularly looking forward to watching.

The ground has been watered at Wetherby to maintain good ground ahead of today’s jumps card. Trainer Brian Ellison was out of luck in the National with Definitly Red definitely unlucky when he was badly hampered at Bechers on the first circuit and jockey Danny Cook was forced to pull his mount up as his saddle slipped.

The same combination team up with Mister Springsprong (2.30) in the selling hurdle and the return to a sound surface and smaller obstacles can see the 10-year-old back in the winner’s enclosure. The selection was a bit better than this grade in his pomp but has disappointed since joining his current stable back in November.

Honourable Gent is returning from a 573-day absence in the two-mile handicap chase but he returns off a feasible mark and should love the forecast ground. A market move would be worth noting.

Lightning Rod (3.00) is now a 12-year-old but he caught a tartar when runner up to Plaisir D’Amour here back in February and it should be noted that the winner is now rated 12lbs higher having followed up at Newbury. The selection is only 1lb higher and Harry Bannister takes over in the saddle with Brian Hughes, who was in the saddle last time, on board joint top-weight Nine Altars who is four years younger than the selection.

The feature is a 3m Handicap Chase and Jonjo O’Neil has his string in good form of late and can continue his good recent run. The handicapper has certainly given In The Rough (4.00) a chance given he is 11lbs lower over fences than hurdles and his five career wins have all come with the word good in the official description.

Purcell’s Bridge, who did us a favour at Haydock last time, and the front-running Jovial Joey are two of any number of dangers but I am going to take a chance on In The Rough back good ground.

For Instance (4.30) is another O’Neill runner who can finally get off the mark over timber having finished runner up in his last three starts since joining the yard including twice over timber. The selection is a point-to-point and bumper winner and connections have stayed well clear of the deep winter ground. He is likely to go chasing sooner rather than later but can take this before switching to the larger obstacles.

At Towcester Masterplan (2.50) can score for Charlie Longsdon in the three-runner handicap chase over the best part of two-and-a-half miles. The selection is a winning pointer but is rated 10lbs lower over fences than hurdles and his 2L win from Singlefarmpayment (gave 8lbs) back in October 2015 over timber marks him down as being well handicapped if he can get his act together over fences.

Today Please is likely to be a warm order for the 2m novices’ chase after his win over timber at Doncaster last time but the booking of Tom Scudamore for Saffron Prince (3.50) suggests David Bridgewater means business and gets the vote despite coming back from a 13-month lay-off.

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