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Friday 24 January 2020

Defi won't be left up creek

Hobbs and Geraghty can combine to score in Sandown feature

JUMP TO IT: Defi Du Seuil and Barry Geraghty winning at Cheltenham last month. Photo: Racing Post
JUMP TO IT: Defi Du Seuil and Barry Geraghty winning at Cheltenham last month. Photo: Racing Post

There's a fantastic day's racing today, so although I will be sad to miss the Racing TV Club Day at Aintree for the first time in a few years it does mean I will be able to take a closer look at the Betfair Tingle Creek and several other cracking races at Sandown and Wetherby.

I have a few fancies with a couple of flyers alongside horses I think are pretty solid bets.

This is the coming of age moment for DEFI DU SEUIL (3.00, Sandown) and, after his reappearance win in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, I believe his time has come.

Politolgue had the run of the race that day and the jump he made at the second last combined with an error from the Hobbs' runner should have been enough to seal it, but it wasn't and Defi Du Seuil was comfortably on top at the line, even if the winning margin was narrow.

Janika, the Haldon Gold Cup winner, rates the main danger.

Ben Case is a good trainer of mares and has had a few decent ones over the years.

He looks to be bringing MIDNIGHTREFLECTION (12.50, Sandown) on steadily, but she has got closer to the race winner on each of her four starts and has stayed on well on both her hurdle runs.

She handles testing conditions and I think she will end up better than a 115-rated mare. This represents a fair opening mark.

I have long since stopped worrying about long absences with horses from certain stables and have no concerns about the David Pipe runner TAJ BADALANDABAD (1.20, Sandown) after more than a season off.

This one ran well in the Pertemps Final on his penultimate start and we last saw him running well at the Cheltenham April meeting, 20 months ago.

He has been dropped 5lb for those good runs and, if fit, that is a gift. The market will no doubt be informative.

Not much has gone right for ONE FOR ARTHUR (1.30, Ainree) since he won the Grand National in 2017, but I was not the only judge who saw him staying on up the hill at Kelso on his reappearance.

It looked as though he blew up and then got a second wind. He should be primed to return to Aintree after six weeks off and I believe he is a very well handicapped horse in a race where no others have any secrets.

DRAGON D'ESTRUVAL (3.35, Sandown) owes his higher handicap mark over fences, relative to his rating over hurdles, to some good runs two years ago in France but he certainly looked at Ascot on his reappearance as if he might well be able to win off it.

He was never in the race behind Militarian but was staying on nicely and this looks an obvious target.

The six-year-old had already won three chases by the time he was four and, now that he has a couple more years on him, I think he can become a decent stayer.

÷ Dave Nevison is betting pundit for Racing TV, the home of British and Irish racing. For more on the leading horseracing channel, which shows every race live from 61 racecourses, please visitwww.racingtv.com/join.

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