Spring into action at Lingfield
Anita Chambers provides a tip for every race on Saturday, with Arab Spring fancied to win the Winter Derby Trial.
Arab Spring (right) can win the Betway Winter Derby Trial
FAIRYHOUSE: 1.10 Retour En France, 1.45 Texas Jack, 2.20 Holeinthewall Bar, 2.50 Asthuria, 3.25 Knockmaole Boy, 4.00 Logical Song, 4.30 Miss Sapphire.
LINGFIELD: 12.50 Saleh, 1.20 Byron Flyer, 2.00 PRETEND (NAP), 2.30 Fly True, 3.05 Arab Spring, 3.40 Gabrielle, 4.15 Treble Strike.
MUSSELBURGH: 12.25 Dear Sire, 12.55 Chain Of Beacons, 1.30 Fidux, 2.05 Alvarado, 2.40 Shantou Tiger, 3.15 Drumcliff, 3.45 Wonderful Charm, 4.20 Superior Command.
NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Indian Dandy, 6.15 Jack Flash, 6.45 Cool Strutter, 7.15 Garrick, 7.45 Bint Arcano, 8.15 Sugar Town, 8.45 Hadley.
SANDOWN: 12.40 Sergio, 1.15 Grey Gold, 1.50 Buveur D'Air, 2.25 Top Notch, 3.00 Rolling Dylan, 3.35 Otago Trail, 4.05 Druid's Folly.
WETHERBY: 1.05 All My Love, 1.40 West Wizard, 2.15 Rock My Style, 2.45 Missed Approach, 3.20 Ami Desbois, 3.55 Ardea, 4.25 Oscar Mor.
DOUBLE: Pretend and Arab Spring.
Top-quality action on the level is on offer at Lingfield, where Arab Spring is a very noteworthy contender in the Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes.
Sir Michael Stoute would not be a trainer known to persevere with seven-year-olds like this, but one cannot help but think Arab Spring has been something of an underachiever so far.
That may be a harsh judgement on a dual Group Three winner, but his Royal Ascot victory back in 2014 promised so much more before a series of injuries limited his opportunities.
Arab Spring had just two starts in 2015 and did not kick off his 2016 campaign until August, winning the September Stakes at Kempton before being edged out in the Cumberland Lodge at Ascot.
His final run over 12 furlongs in an Italian Group One last October failed to yield that all-important top-level success,
He is closely matched on ratings with both Decorated Knight and Grendisar, but he should come out on top with the conditions in his favour.
Pretend hit the mark on his return last month and can follow up in the Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Cleves Stakes.
Another whose career has been punctuated with a lengthy absence, Pretend is well-regarded by Charlie Appleby and was returning from a five-month break when winning by a length and a half in Sunbury.
He won the Sprint Final at this track on the big Good Friday card in 2015 and looks sure to be making his mark in that division again this winter.
Garrick looks a likely type to make a winning debut for John Gosden in the Sun Bets Maiden Stakes at Newcastle. His yard is mopping up in this sort of race at the moment.
It has been a topsy-turvy few days for Buveur D'Air who began the week as a leading contender for the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase but will actually be out to underline his Champion Hurdle claims at Sandown instead.
Connections had a rethink about his potential Cheltenham target and with the Champion Hurdle picture in slight disarray at present, they have elected to abort his chasing campaign in favour of a return to the smaller obstacles.
Buveur D'Air gets an immediate chance to prove his mettle in the division in the Betfred-sponsored Contenders Hurdle, and he will certainly be fit for action after winning twice over fences this term.
Having chased home Altior when third in last year's Supreme before going on to Grade One glory at Aintree, Buveur D'Air certainly has the form in the book to suggest he can be a major player, both here and even the Festival itself.
While Nicky Henderson has to do without Buveur D'Air's services in the Scilly Isles, Top Notch can prove an incredibly able deputy in the Grade One heat.
Winner of three of his four chase outings this term, Top Notch faces the step up to the top level but given he was only beaten a neck in the Triumph a couple of years ago, his Grade One credentials are hardly in doubt.
He appears to have learnt plenty with each outing so far and while the official margin of victory was only a length and a quarter at Ascot last time out, Top Notch had oodles left in the tank.
Rolling Dylan hit the bar on his latest start but can make amends with victory in the Betfred Mobile Heroes Handicap Hurdle.
The six-year-old will be having just his eighth outing under Rules in this Grade Three event but proved his inexperience is not too much of a hindrance to his chances of handicap success when just being edged out by Shantou Bob at Chepstow.
He looked a likely winner when taking it up before the last, but his concentration seemed to wane a bit which allowed his rival to swoop in for a last-gasp verdict.
An 8lb hike for that defeat is pretty harsh, but Rolling Dylan is clearly still progressing and can rank higher still.
Drumcliff was edged out at Kempton over Christmas but can lift the Scottish County Hurdle, while Wonderful Charm is the clear pick in the bet365 Scottish Foxhunter Open Hunters' Chase.
He has not won since October 2014, but he was an ultra-smart campaigner on his day and his rating of 154 makes him a cut above his rivals as he embarks on a new career.
Missed Approach let down his supporters on his fencing bow but after making amends subsequently he can continue on the upwards curve in the Totepool Towton Novices' Chase.
His initial fourth at Exeter back in November was something of a disappointment, but the winner, American, has since won at Listed level and is viewed as a serious Festival hopeful, so perhaps that bit of form is better than it first appeared.
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