Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Tuesday, January 5


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Tuesday, January 5

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Tuesday’s meetings at Wolverhampton and Lingfield. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Tuesday’s meetings

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.40 Durabella

1.10 La Tihaty

1.40 Swiss Pride

2.10 Jennivere (nb)

2.40 Ballydoyle

3.10 Passional

3.40 Murat Asset

GIMCRACK 

12.40 Maxine

1.10 Melody Of Life

1.40 Our Oystercatcher

2.10 Little Sunflower (nap)

2.40 Ballydoyle

3.10 Eastern Star

3.40 Corofin

NEWMARKET – 3.10 Passional (nap)

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

4.10 Miaella

4.40 Gavi Di Gavi

5.10 One One Seven

5.40 Canimar

6.10 Blue Moonrise

6.40 Eldelbar (nap)

7.10 Secret Treaties

7.40 By Jove

8.10 Pocketeer

GIMCRACK 

4.10 Ballyare

4.40 Gavi Di Gavi

5.10 My Sister Jo

5.40 Canimar

6.10 Blue Moonrise (nb)

6.40 Eldelbar

7.10 Fard

7.40 Bay Of Naples

8.10 Complexo

NORTHERNER – 6.40 Choosey (nb); 7.40 Bay Of Naples (nap).

NEWMARKET – 4.10 Shamshon (nb).



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Cheltenham organisers prepared for event to be held with ‘small numbers of people present’


Cheltenham Festival organisers prepared for this year’s event to be held with only ‘small numbers of people present’ due to coronavirus restrictions a year after huge crowds sparked controversy

  • No spectators are currently allowed at British racecourses
  • Normally around 250,000 spectators attend the four days of the Festival
  • It was last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown 

Cheltenham are resigned to the fact this year’s Festival will be held with only around 2,000 people present each day — at best.

Now the country has been placed back into full lockdown, the track must make some key decisions over the next couple of weeks about the meeting, which starts on March 16.

Normally, the biggest jumps meeting of the year welcomes 250,000 spectators through the gates over the four days, 70,000 of them on the final day to watch the Gold Cup. Those scenes were condemned by some last March when the Festival was the last major sporting event before the Covid-19 crisis plunged the country into lockdown.

Normally around 250,000 spectators attend the four days of the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham’s meeting last month had a crowd of 2,000 a day made up of owners, annual members and paying spectators.

Officials must also work out how to sustain the traditional challenge of Irish runners, with travel restrictions and isolation protocols still likely to be in place.

Ian Renton, the Jockey Club’s regional managing director, said: ‘We’ve accepted that it is going to be a different Festival this year. We have to be realistic that it is likely only small numbers of people will be present.

‘Let’s see where we are by March. We are focused on setting the stage for four world-class days, which are vital to many livelihoods in the British racing industry and will be enjoyed by millions on television.’

Jockey Club Racecourses, who own Cheltenham, have insurance which covers the majority of lost revenue, but not all of it.

The event last March was the last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown

The event last March was the last major sporting event before the country went into lockdown

With Festival revenues usually helping to support activity in the wider JCR group, the organisation still face a significant hit.

The Cheltenham Festival also usually gives the local economy a £100million boost.

Meanwhile, Kim Bailey-trained Imperial Aura, 7-1 second favourite for the Ryanair Chase, is one of the headline runners this weekend in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton. The winner of the Novices’ Handicap Chase on the opening day of last season’s Cheltenham Festival was the five-length winner of Ascot’s 1965 Chase on his latest start.

Elsewhere David Thompson, joint-owner of Cheveley Park Stud, has died aged 84.

He and wife Patricia bought Newmarket’s oldest stud farm in 1975.

Big-race winners on the Flat in their red, white and blue colours have included Pivotal, Medicean and Russian Rhythm. Their current jumps string is headed by unbeaten dual Cheltenham Festival winner Envoi Allen.



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Skelton reaps reward of focus on quality after five winners at Kempton’s Christmas meeting


Trainer Dan Skelton reaps reward of focus on quality after securing five winners at Kempton’s prestigious Christmas meeting

  • Nube Negra inflicted an emphatic defeat on Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase
  • Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory 
  • Skelton now a place behind Nicholls in the Jump Trainers’ championship race

Validation is the word Dan Skelton says best sums up the feeling he felt after training five winners at Kempton’s prestigious two-day Christmas meeting.

The successes of Nube Negra, who beat Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase, and Shan Blue in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase in particular underlined that Skelton’s re-focus on quality at his Warwickshire stable is bearing fruit.

Only former boss Paul Nicholls stands above Skelton in the Jump Trainers’ championship race and with a clutch of leading ante-post fancies for the Cheltenham Festival, Skelton heads into 2021 flush with optimism.

Dan Skelton (left) with Nube Negra after the win in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton

The trainer said: ‘When you do what we did at Kempton you mainly feel happy that you haven’t let the horses down because we knew what they were capable of. It’s more that than patting yourself on the back. We have really concentrated on quality and the best thing was the validation that we were right. We knew they were good horses.

‘It is hard to get the team to that level and over the two days we had a live contender in virtually every race.’

The Skelton operation is a family affair. Younger brother Harry does the riding and father Nick, the Olympic Gold medal-winning show-jumper, now coaches promising show-jumping riders from his home 300 yards from Dan’s stable.

By his sixth season training in 2018-19, Dan had joined 15-time champion Martin Pipe as the only jump trainer to top 200 wins in a season. But ambitions have changed.

Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory at Kempton

Shan Blue extended his unbeaten sequence over fences with a decisive victory at Kempton

Dan said: ‘We set out this season with a totally different ambition to the one we set out last season with. I felt now was the time to concentrate on quality.

‘When I looked through the list of horses in the summer — when they were starting to come back in — I thought these are a fancy bunch. If we get it right these could be the one to take us to another level.

‘Winning Grade Ones is vitally important. It’s where the owners want to be. It is exhilarating and fun. It’s top-end sport.’

The re-focus also required a slightly different approach.

Skelton added: ‘Before, the wheel kept turning. We might have two winners today at Uttoxeter and tomorrow be off to Fontwell and we need three. That grinds on everybody.

‘It’s not that we have less horses but more modest horses might be running eight or 10 times a season because they are bobbing up and down the handicap. With horses like Shan Blue, you might only get five or six.

‘The team are always a happy bunch but they now have slightly more time to spend with their horses and appreciate them. My jockey is also not going to ride six every day and you hope he might last a bit longer as well.

‘I am not saying I am a better trainer now than I was two or three years ago but I think we are better as a team, have more experience and can recognise the horses which are in front of us.’

The victory of Nube Negra was particularly pleasing for Skelton, having recruited the gelding from Spain where he had been running at La Zarzuela racecourse on the outskirts of Madrid.

The seven-year-old gelding, third in the Boodles Fred Winter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, heads straight to that meeting for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March.

Skelton, who could run hugely promising Protektorat in the rescheduled Dipper Novices’ Chase at Wincanton on Saturday, said: ‘I never expected him to beat Altior. It is a big deal but Nube Negra won with authority.

‘We got him from Spain and nobody had heard of him or even the racecourses he had run at. We have brought him a long way and I think he is a contender now.’



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Monday, January 4


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Monday, January 4

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Monday’s meetings at Fakenham, Wolverhampton and Lingfield. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Monday’s meetings

FAKENHAM

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.25 Ripper Roo

12.55 Fresh New Dawn

1.25 Not A Role Model

1.55 Episode

2.25 Manjaam

2.55 Love The Leader

3.25 Harde Fashion

GIMCRACK 

12.25 Ripper Roo

12.55 Fresh New Dawn

1.25 Not A Role Model

1.55 Episode

2.25 Cristal Spirit

2.55 Chimes Of Dylan

3.25 Harde Fashion

LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.10 Global Style

12.40 Mutahamisa

1.10 Recon Mission

1.40 Gold Standard

2.10 Tamborrada

2.40 Arabescato

3.10 Cafe Sydney

3.40 Caribeno

GIMCRACK 

12.10 Noble Queen

12.40 Mutahamisa

1.10 Lihou (nb)

1.40 Dynali

2.10 Too Friendly

2.40 Arabescato

3.10 Cafe Sydney

3.40 Catbird Seat

NEWMARKET – 12.40 Mutahamisa (nap); 2.10 Defined (nb).

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

3.50 Dubai paradise

4.20 Blackcurrent

4.50 Inevitable Outcome (nb)

5.20 Lleyton (nap)

5.50 Richard R H B

6.20 Shimmering Dawn

6.50 Petalite

7.20 Inaam

7.50 Trevie Fountain

GIMCRACK 

3.50 Dubai Paradise

4.20 First Excel

4.50 Inevitable Outcome

5.20 Lleyton

5.50 Richard R H B

6.20 Shimmering Dawn (nap)

6.50 Big Kitty

7.20 Critical Thinking

7.50 Barrington

NORTHERNER – 5.20 Lleyton (nap); 5.50 Athmad (nb)



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Trainer Zoe Davison dies from cancer on the same day two of her horses claim wins at Plumpton 


Trainer Zoe Davison dies from cancer on the same day two of her horses claim wins at Plumpton 

  • The 60-year-old had been battling breast cancer for four-and-a-half years 
  • She started training in 1997 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in 2017-18 
  • Her stable landed a Plumpton double with Brown Bullet and Mr Jack on Sunday 

There were poignant scenes at Plumpton as the death of trainer Zoe Davison was announced on the day her stable landed a double with Brown Bullet and Mr Jack.

Davison, who had been battling breast cancer for four-and-a-half years, started training in 1997-98 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in the 2017-18 campaign. Based at East Grinstead in Sussex, she was 60.

Gemelle Johnson, former jockey and then assistant to her mother, said: ‘I just feel a bit numb inside because of everything.

Zoe Davison started training in 1997 and enjoyed her best season with 15 wins in 2017-18

‘I’m a bit overwhelmed we’ve had a double for Mum. Hopefully we have made her proud. It’s surreal.

‘Our team is a family business and we put everything into it. She will be thoroughly missed as she is the glue that holds us together.’

Jockey James Best, who rode Brown Bullet in the 2m novice hurdle, told Sky Sports Racing: ‘What a lovely family they are. I’ve had an awful lot of rides for them over the past 18 months to two years but that was actually my first winner for Zoe.’



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Metier lays down Supremes Novices’ Hurdle marker with impressive 12 length Tolworth victory


Metier lays down Supremes Novices’ Hurdle marker with impressive 12-length victory in Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown

  • The Sean Bowen-ridden 7-4 favourite extended his unbeaten hurdles record
  • Metier dominated Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown from runner-up Shakem Up’Arry
  • Metier was cut to 8-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

Metier was cut to 8-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after producing one of the best performances this side of the Irish Sea by a novice this season with a 12-length victory in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.

The Sean Bowen-ridden 7-4 favourite, extending his unbeaten hurdles record to three, powered up the climb to the finish and was extending his advantage from runner-up Shakem Up’Arry with every stride.

His trainer Harry Fry has enjoyed Grade One success before, notably with staying hurdler Unowhatimeanharry, who is still racing at 12.

Metier, ridden by Sean Bowen, dominated the Tolworth hurdle with a 12-length victory

He trained Rock On Ruby to second in the 2013 Champion Hurdle, having been credited with doing the training as assistant to Paul Nicholls when the horse won the race 12 months earlier.

There was, however, greater significance to Metier’s win as it was the first top-level success for Fry since he began operating from his new purpose-built Dorset base in June.

Fry said: ‘Rarely do races go quite so smoothly at this level. Metier relishes those conditions and is very exciting.

‘He is the highest-rated horse we’ve had off the Flat to go hurdling. Hopefully he can go a long way. Unowhatimeanharry has flown the flag for us for a number of years but it’s great to have another in the yard.’

Fry had never met Metier’s owner, Gary Stevens, before the day he introduced himself in the Owners’ and Trainers’ bar at Cheltenham explaining he had had horses in training in the past with Mark Pitman and wanted to get back into jump racing.

Metier, who cost 150,000 guineas, makes that meeting look fortuitous. Fry, also successful at Sandown with Whitehotchillifili, said: ‘I was in the right place at the right time.’

Metier has been cut to 8-1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival

Metier has been cut to 8-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival

Horses occasionally win after coming out of retirement but the result of Sandown’s Unibet Veterans Handicap Chase was surely unique. 

Not only had Seeyouatmidnight been nursed back to fitness by Scottish trainer Sandy Thomson after seemingly career-ending suspensory ligament problems but his jockey, Grand National winner Ryan Mania, also turned his back on the sport in 2014 because of weight issues before returning in 2019. Thomson is gaining a reputation as a rehabilitation king.

Yorkhill, the dual Willie Mullins-trained Cheltenham Festival winner who had lost his way, landed the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November and Thomson is trying to re-ignite the spark in Bellshill, another ex-Mullins chaser, for the Grand National in April. Both are part-owned by golfer Lee Westwood.



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Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Saturday, January 2


Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Saturday, January 2

 Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Saturday’s meetings at Sandown,Ayr, Wolverhampton and Lingfield. 

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Saturday’s meetings

SANDOWN 

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.05 Hudson De Grugy

12.40 Whitehotchillifili (nap)

1.15 Destinee Royale

1.50 Early Du Lemo

2.25 Do Your Job

3.00 Late Romantic

3.35 Gemirande

GIMCRACK 

12.05 Hudson De Grugy

12.40 Stormy Ireland

1.15 Evander

1.50 Born Survivor

2.25 Metier (nap)

3.00 Crosspark (nb)

3.35 Gemirande 

 AYR

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

12.20 Wetlands

12.55 Vengeur De Guye

1.30 The Edgar Wallace

2.05 Evander

2.40 Illegal Model

3.15 Strong Economy (nb)

3.45 Camile

GIMCRACK 

12.20 Wetlands

12.55 Ard Chros

1.30 Ugo Du Misselot

2.05 Clan Legend

2.40 Illegal Model

3.15 Takingrisks

3.45 Those Tiger Feet

 WOLVERHAMPTON  

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

4.10 Fair Star

4.40 Passional

5.10 Australis

5.40 Revolutionary Man

6.10 Final Voyage

6.40 Napper Tandy

7.10 Obtuse

GIMCRACK 

4.10 Fair Star

4.40 Dynamo Walt

5.10 Australis

5.40 Highest Mountain

6.10 Falcon Brook

6.40 Napper Tandy

7.10 Obtuse

 LINGFIELD

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

11.30 Kendergarten Kop

12.00 Coupe De Champagne

12.35 Wake Up Harry

1.10 Kodiac Harbour

1.45 Merweb

2.20 Bravado

2.55 Hidden Breeze

3.30 Show Me The Bubbly

GIMCRACK 

11.30 Uther Pendragon

12.00 Damned Elusive

12.35 Wake Up Harry

1.10 Accomplice

1.45 Harlequin

2.20 Andronicus Beau

2.55 Wudashudacuda

3.30 Roundabout Magic 



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Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand ring in the New Year as racing couple announce engagement


Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand ring in the New Year as racing couple announce engagement following brilliant year for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee

  • Hollie Doyle announced her engagement to Tom Marquand on New Year’s Eve
  • It ends a brilliant year for jockey Doyle who won the Flat Jockey of the Year prize
  • Doyle finished third in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 

After 12 months of never-ending achievements for Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand, the weighing room partners saved the biggest for last by announcing their engagement on New Year’s Eve.

Marquand broke the news on social media with a picture of him embracing Doyle wearing her engagement ring on the beach in St Lucia with the caption: ‘So err… thanks 2020 I guess?!’

Doyle, 24, ended last year with third place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year having ridden 151 winners which included her first Group One success on Glen Shiel at Ascot in November.

Hollie Doyle (right) announced her engagement to Tom Marquand (left) on New Year’s Eve

Doyle (pictured left) finished third in this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award

Doyle (pictured left) finished third in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award

She was also voted the first female Flat Jockey of the Year by her fellow riders in the Professional Jockeys Association.

The good year for Marquand, 22, started when he landed the first Group One wins of his career on William Haggas-trained Addeybb in March and April while riding in Australia. 

Among his 147 British winners was a first Classic on Joseph O’Brien’s Galileo Chrome in the St Leger in September.

After their short break the all-weather circuit beckons for Doyle while Marquand is due to return to ride in Australia. 

Jockey Doyle (above) was voted the first female Flat Jockey of the Year by her fellow riders

Jockey Doyle (above) was voted the first female Flat Jockey of the Year by her fellow riders



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Michael Scudamore claims Do Your Job is worth the gamble as trainer eyes Grade One prize at Sandown


Michael Scudamore claims Do Your Job is worth the gamble as trainer eyes Grade One prize at Sandown’s Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

  • Michael Scudamore claims ‘Do Your Job’ is his first chance at a Grade One win 
  • The horse is set to line up in the Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown
  • Jockeyed by Brendan Powell, he had his first defeat of the season at Haydock

Trainer Michael Scudamore says Do Your Job represents his first genuine chance to land a Grade One prize when he lines up in the Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.

The six-year-old suffered his first defeat of the season at Haydock last time at the hands of Llandinabo Lad, but Do Your Job’s jockey Brendan Powell and Harry Skelton on third-placed Flic Ou Voyou looked to get racing hard too early and Do Your Job, having taken control, paid the price.

Scudamore said: ‘We were a little bit disappointed after the race and to be fair to Brendan he held his hands up and said they’d got racing halfway down the back straight. 

Michael Scudamore says Do Your Job is his first genuine chance to land a Grade One prize

Do Your Job was beaten by Llandinabo Lad (above) at Haydock - his first loss of the season

Do Your Job was beaten by Llandinabo Lad (above) at Haydock – his first loss of the season

‘We looked to have everything beaten two out and then ran out of petrol and were outstayed.

‘We don’t believe we gave our true running that day and came away thinking perhaps with different tactics we might see a better horse.

‘We have had a good season so far with Kingswell Theatre winning the Cross Country at Cheltenham in November and Nada to Prada winning the Listed mares novices’ hurdle last month. 

‘But everyone wants the big ones and this is probably the first time we have been in a Grade One with a genuine chance.’

Scudamore’s biggest wins in his 13-season training career have been Monbeg Dude in the Welsh National and Next Sensation, who won the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Scudamore’s biggest wins in his 13-season training career have been Monbeg Dude (above)

Scudamore’s biggest wins in his 13-season training career have been Monbeg Dude (above)

Do Your Job started the season with novice hurdle wins at Ffos Las and Ayr. At the latter he gave weight and a beating to Dan Skelton-trained runner-up Cadzand, who has won both his races since including a handicap at Kempton in December.

Third-placed Wetlands subsequently won back at Ayr and is odds-on favourite to double his tally at the track today.

Do Your Job cost £150,000 and is one of a clutch of good horses now in the stable owned by Mark Dunphy.

Scudamore added: ‘He’s the most expensive horse I have trained by a long way. 

‘Mark wanted to buy a nice horse and gave himself a chance by spending that amount of money. Hopefully he can continue to justify his price tag.’

Do Your Job is a 6-1 shot for the Tolworth. The 5-4 favourite is Harry Fry-trained Metier, an impressive five-length winner from Tile Tapper, one of his rivals again, at Ascot in November.

Dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo has had his odds to make it three wins at Cheltenham in March trimmed to 100-30 by Ladbrokes after a 19-length comeback victory in the Savills New Year’s Day Chase at Tramore.



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Sam Turner is Britain’s top tipster for second year in a row and the fifth time in all


Sam lands his double! Turner is Britain’s top tipster for second year in a row and the fifth time overall after out-performing his rivals with big winners including Highland Chief and Chatham Street Lad

  • Sam Turner has been crowned king of the national newspaper tipsters yet again
  • Racemail’s ace tipster won for the second year running and the fifth time in all
  • His big winners included Highland Chief and Chatham Street Lad at Cheltenham

Sam Turner (Robin Good- fellow) has been crowned king of the national newspaper tipsters yet again.

Racemail’s ace tipster lifted the National Press Challenge organised by the Racing Post for the second year running and the fifth time in all after out-performing his rival tipsters over the previous 12 months.

Among the big winners Turner found during 2020 were Highland Chief, 20-1 winner of the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot in July which he napped, and Chatham Street Lad, the 16-1 winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month.

Sam Turner (above) has been crowned king of the national newspaper tipsters yet again

The National Press challenge is judged on every tip on British racing over the 12-month period and Turner once again selected more winners at a higher strike rate than any of his rival national newspaper tipsters.

His 2,064 winners were a massive 389 more than The Guardian and 350 more than The Scout in the Daily Express.

Picking winners on a daily basis, Turner has cemented his reputation as Britain’s most consistent tipster and every morning the bookies make sure they check what he is tipping.

Among the big winners Turner found during 2020 were Highland Chief (above), 20-1 winner of the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot in July which he napped

Among the big winners Turner found during 2020 were Highland Chief (above), 20-1 winner of the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot in July which he napped

He also found Chatham Street Lad (above), the 16-1 winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month.

He also found Chatham Street Lad (above), the 16-1 winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month. 

Jon Lees of Ladbrokes said: ‘Congratulations to Sam Turner on winning another National Press Challenge title and underlining his fantastic record of consistently picking winners.

‘Sam has shown he has a flair for unearthing winners, but we know how much hard work he puts into his selections. We will be watching closely to see what he tips in 2021.’

Turner, who compiles his own databank of speed figures, added: ‘I am delighted to win the National Press Challenge again. With the amount of racing, you must have a system to have a chance of staying ahead.’

Turner’s first nap of the year is at Exeter — Tudors Treasure in the Passage House Inn Handicap Chase (3.25).



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