Horse racing tips and best bets: Newcastle, Wolverhampton

Tranchee can double his winter’s tally in the Bombardier “March To Your Own Drum” Handicap at Wolverhampton.

David Loughnane’s progressive five-year-old must defy a career-high rating to do so, having earned a three-figure mark for the first time as a winning favourite in a conditions race at Kempton last month.

Tranchee is also already a course-and-distance winner here, though, and was beaten just a short-head when he tried to repeat that dose on Boxing Day.

His conqueror then was completing a hat-trick, and failed by only half a length to continue the sequence in a Listed fast-track qualifier at Lingfield on Saturday.

That gives extra substance to Tranchee’s form – and although he meets rivals with significant potential to make an impact in this discipline, he ticks all the boxes as the one who is both at the top of his game and tuned up to prove it after recent runs.

Richard Kingscote seemed to click well with him last time too, so it is a further confidence boost that he retains the partnership.

Earlier on the evening card, Host has fine prospects of an overdue first career victory in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap.

Richard Hannon’s colt has five runner-up spots on his 11-race CV, and has been getting progressively closer to that elusive breakthrough of late – beaten under a length over seven furlongs here and then just a neck up to this distance of a mile at Lingfield since the turn of the year.

He has crept only slowly up the ratings in defeat – and having appeared to take a leap forward on his last visit here, following an eight-week break, he may well have this field covered.

The extra furlong for his return should suit ideally too.


NEWCASTLE: 1.30 Ad Libitum, 2.00 Hajey, 2.30 Desert Marathon, 3.00 Dragons Will Rise, 3.30 Kindly, 4.00 Royal Advice, 4.30 Nellie French.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.45 Never Said Nothing, 5.15 Host, 5.45 Almost An Angel, 6.15 TRANCHEE (NAP), 6.45 Dazzling Des, 7.15 Mellys Flyer, 7.45 Eldelbar, 8.15 Secret Potion.

DOUBLE: Host and Tranchee.

Almost An Angel is also seeking a first career win, and may have found the right opportunity in the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Handicap.

The three-year-old has had his official birthday and been gelded since producing his best effort so far, at the sixth attempt, when a creditable half-length second at Newcastle on New Year’s Eve.

He rallied and stayed on well over that stiff track, having taken a prominent position throughout.

A repeat of that, or something similar, should put him right in the reckoning here – and Almost An Angel has also acquired a visor for the first time in this highly winnable race.

Mellys Flyer should get off the mark much more quickly, on the basis of his third on debut at Southwell.

George Scott’s gelding was slowly away but got himself into contention before being readily out-speeded by an odds-on favourite with previous experience.

He should improve in the Betway Novice Stakes, and ran with enough promise to suggest he can take advantage of a 10lb weight concession from the likely favourite and sole four-year-old in the field.

Eldelbar has suddenly become unstoppable, coasting to victory twice in little more than 24 hours here – having been highly consistent yet unable to seal the deal in his previous eight attempts.

It is not obvious exactly what clicked – but if Geoff Harker’s seven-year-old is in anything like the same form, albeit back down a furlong and with an 8lb penalty to carry nine days later, he will surely take some stopping.

Ad Libitum is bidding to follow up a recent course victory – in his case up at Newcastle – in the Betway Handicap which opens the afternoon card.

Favourite backers were made to sweat by Ad Libitum at the end of last month when he appeared to be struggling way off the pace before producing a withering late run to prevail by just a nose on the line.

That was over this same trip of an extended mile and a half – and although up 4lb, Roger Fell’s six-year-old is sure to be surging late again at a track which plays to his strengths.

An hour later, Desert Marathon should get off the mark in the Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

Charlie Fellowes’ filly is another who can take time to find her stride, so the trek up here looks a wise move after three closing efforts at Lingfield.


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