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Saturday 12 January horse racing tips - Williams' 5/2 chance can School rivals at Kempton

Brian Healy 11 Jan 2019
Poker School (right) can enhance his Kempton record.

Brian Healy gives his race by race selections and best bets across each of Saturday's UK and Irish horse racing meetings.

Six UK and Irish horse racing meetings go to post on a busy day of action which sees jumps racing from the cards at Wetherby, Warwick and Kempton, as well as Fairyhouse in Ireland.

Some classy racing awaits punters across Saturday’s fixture list with the competitive Lanzarote Hurdle and 32Red Chase - formerly the Racing Post Chase - both on the card at Kempton; while at Warwick there is the latest renewal of the Grade Two Leamington Hurdle, as well as the Grade Three Classic Handicap Chase both on the card.

There is also all-weather action to look forward to, with cards at Lingfield in the afternoon on polytrack as well as Newcastle’s evening meeting on tapeta.

Kempton (jumps) - 12.20 - 3.45pm (7 races)
Fairyhouse (jumps) - 12.25 - 3.50pm (7 races)
Wetherby (jumps) - 12.30 - 3.55pm (7 races)
Warwick (jumps) - 12.40 - 4.05pm (7 races)
Lingfield (flat, aw) - 12.50 - 3.40pm (6 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) - 3.30 - 7.00pm (8 races)



(12.55) LARKBARROW LAD (Evens, William Hill) sets a solid standard on his recent back-to-back runner-up efforts, and the Kayf Tara gelding can get off the mark here.

Philip Hobbs’ charge showed useful form in a handful of bumpers, including making the frame here; but he has improved for the switch to timber, getting to within a head of Enrichissant at Huntingdon on his hurdling debut and then bagging a second silver medal at Ascot last month behind Ask Dillon.

Although beaten seven lengths he finished clear of the rest, and with the potential to find further improvement he ought to go close here. 

Top Notch (left) can get back to winning ways over fences at Kempton.

(1.30) POKER SCHOOL (5/2, Bet365) could be worth chancing here and Ian Williams’ charge defends a perfect record at the track.

His last success came over this course and distance on Boxing Day 2016 when beating Two Taffs, and he has posted a succession of solid in-the-frame efforts since from higher marks than this, including when denied only by a nose at Wetherby last November.

This season has seen him finish runner-up behind Sternrubin at Ludlow from 2lbs higher than today’s mark, and he is forgiven his last run at Sandown behind Darebin last weekend where he made a few mistakes in the jumping department.

He is better than he showed, and back at this track he could show that run to be all wrong; he is 3-3 over course and distance, and with the ground in his favour he can make a bold bid to get back on the scoresheet.

12.20 - Tiffin Top
12.55 - Larkbarrow Lad
1.30 - Poker School
2.05 - Top Notch
2.40 - Doux Pretender
3.15 - Barney Dwan
3.45 - Speed Company


(1.00) This looks a decent race, and SURIN (11/2, Paddy Power) could be the one to side with despite meeting with defeat behind the reopposing Gardens Of Babylon at Punchestown on New Years’ Eve.

Gordon Elliott’s charge was a Market Rasen bumper winner prior to joining this yard, and she shaped well on her hurdles debut where she was run down late by the winner, going down by just a half-length.

She meets her last-time conquerer on 5lbs better terms, and open to further improvement she could make the most of the weight she receives to open her win account over timber.

(1.35) BROSNA GEORGE (2/1, Bet365) arrives here at the top of his game, winning two of his last three starts and Arthur Moore’s charge can strike again.

The Intikhab gelding was a winner at Down Royal back in November, after which he fell at Punchestown when yet to be asked for effort; he quickly bounced back here latest however with a ready defeat of Clontarf.

While a 9lbs rise demands more, he should continue to give a good account and no surprise if he were to continue his progression to defy this new mark and add another win to his tally.

12.25 - Caravation
1.00 - Surin
1.35 - Brosna George
2.10 - Kildorrey
2.45 - Veinard
3.20 - Getaway Kid
3.50 - Ificudwud


(1.05) JUST DON’T ASK (11/4, Bet365) probably needed the run on his chase debut at Uttoxeter last month, fading to finish seventh behind Crucial Role; but the Ask gelding travelled well for a long way, and likely to be sharper now, Charlie Longsdon’s charge can build on that return to go close here.

Progressive over hurdles last term, winning twice, he was also a winner between the flags in Ireland for Virginia Considine prior to joining this yard, and he could develop into a useful chaser.

He has had a wind operation since his last start, and if coming on for the run then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big showing.

Charlie Longsdon can enjoy a successful day at Wetherby.

(2.50) JET SET (7/2, Coral) got off the mark when successful over timber at Huntingdon last April, beating Cloone Lady by nine lengths.

Charlie Longsdon’s Getaway mare unseated her rider back there following a break on her chase debut, after which she returned to hurdles to finish a solid forth on her handicap bow behind Midnight Shadow.

The winner has since proven his class with a Grade Two success, and dropping into a slightly easier grade on better ground could see her bounce back to winning form.

12.30 - Garbanzo
1.05 - Just Don’t Ask
1.40 - Val Mome
2.15 - Kauto Riko
2.50 - Jet Set
3.25 - Manwell
3.55 - Artichoke Heart


(1.50) Lightly-raced OK CORRAL (7/2, Ladbrokes) made a good impression when scoring on his chase debut at Plumpton in December, and Nicky Henderson’s charge can follow up here.

A smart hurdler, finishing runner-up to Kilbricken Storm in the Albert Bartlett last month having won at Kempton the time before, the Mahler gelding overcame inexperience to score cosily from Impulsive Star despite making a mid-race blunder.

He is sure to have learnt plenty from the experience, and in receipt of 5lbs from prolific Rocky’s Treasure he can make the most of the weight concession he receives to double up on his win tally over fences.

(3.35) KEEPER HILL (8/1, Coral) has shown more of his old self since returning to hurdling having lost his way last term over fences despite winning two of his first three outings in that discipline, with later runs blighted by jumping errors.

Tom George’s charge had been a highly progressive hurdler during the 2016/17 season, winning three times which included a Listed race prior to finishing seventh behind Willoughby Court in that season’s Neptune Hurdle.

Although last of five on his reappearance behind Nautical Nitwit in the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby in November, he subsequently built on that return to find only one too good from a reduced mark at Cheltenham last month, travelling well before finding only one pace on the climb to the line.

A 3lbs rise in the weights is offset by the claim of promising conditional Harry Teal, and it would be no surprise to see him post another big effort here.

12.40 - Wenceslaus
1.15 - Huntsman Son
1.50 - Ok Corral
2.25 - Stoney Mountain
3.00 - Carole’s Destrier
3.35 - Keeper Hill
4.05 - Pour Joie


(1.25) MERHOOB (7/2, Coral) appeared to win a shade cosily when beating the reopposing Alsvinder over course and distance on New Years’ Eve, and the Cape Cross gelding can confirm that form.

John Ryan’s charge scored by almost one length on that occasion, running on well to overhaul the trailblazing runner-up; and while he is 2lbs worse off, he could be the way to go in this contest assuming he gets away on terms.

He’s not always the most reliant at the start, and his chances could be compromised by a slow start; but if there’s no mishap at the gates then it isn’t hard to see him going close in his follow-up bid.

12.50 - Sweet Nature
1.25 - Merhoob
2.00 - Dutch Uncle
2.35 - My Target
3.10 - Oneovdem
3.40 - Affluence

Lingfield's all-weather surface sees action on Saturday.


(4.00) REY LOOPY (2/1, Paddy Power) has a decent record here, and Ben Haslam’s charge can win again at this venue.

The Lope De Vega gelding produced a career-best effort when successful over Harvest Day latest, scoring by two lengths and overcoming a slow start in the process.

A four-time course and distance winner, the return to one mile is no issue and he can defy a 4lbs rise in the weights.

(5.00) KAREENA KAPOOR (Evens, Ladbrokes) made the frame in both starts in maidens as a juvenile, finishing just a half-length runner-up behind Pretty Pollyanna on debut at Yarmouth and then posting another solid run at Doncaster behind Comedy, finishing third and beaten two lengths.

Simon Crisford’s More Than Ready filly returns from six months off, and on those runs she sets a fairly stiff standard. Assuming she has improved in the interim then she could well take plenty of beating in this contest, and with the form of that Doncaster third working out really well then she can get off the mark.

3.30 - Splash Of Verve
4.00 - Rey Loopy
4.30 - I Am Dandy
5.00 - Kareena Kapoor
5.30 - Tough Remedy
6.00 - Call Out Loud
6.30 - Lucky Lodge
7.00 - Oxygenic

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Saturday 12 January horse racing tips - Williams' 5/2 chance can School rivals at Kempton

Brian Healy gives his race by race selections and best bets across each of Saturday's UK and Irish horse racing meetings.

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