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Roller has a good recent record when returning from a break, but with no obvious pacesetter there’s a chance this won’t be run to suit. Maharg’s Princess could have more in her now handicapping, but HECTOR’S HERE is still on a good mark despite going up 3lbs for his course and distance win in October and he should be very competitive on this return from a short break. Motawaafeq is preferred of the remainder.
The form of CRITICAL THINKING‘s 7-furlong course win last month has been boosted a few times since, so he may be capable of overcoming a 2lbs rise. Kendergarten Kop knows where the winning post is at present and ought to give another good account, while Whatwouldyouknow is also respected having been placed on his last four starts.
John Gosden’s EMPEROR SPIRIT has shaped well on both starts over 7 furlongs, particularly here last time, and should take a bit of stopping now stepping up in trip. Inigo Jones was a far better than the result on his 7-furlong Kempton debut and looks the obvious danger unless the betting speaks in the favour of well-bred Clive Cox newcomer Western Alliance.
The front-running Mighty Gurkha is 2-2 on all-weather and much respected despite having to shoulder a 7lbs penalty for his win in the Sirenia, but he’s not long back from a trip to America and it might be worth opposing him with ATALIS BAY. He had soft ground as an excuse for his run in the Cornwallis and had progressed nicely prior to that.
William Haggas is trying a few different things with Yazaman in a bid to get his head back in front and he’ll be a major threat if applying himself. Fellow Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum runner Zamaani also has the form to play a prominent role.
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It’s well over two years since MYTHMAKER got his head in front, but there was much more encouragement in his fourth here last time, and he should go well again with his yard in form. Final Frontier, another to bounce back over C&D on his latest start, is a big danger.
Meanwhile, course specialist Chookie Dunedin can be expected to give his usual good account. The lightly raced three-year-old Newscaster is another to consider.
A tightly knit handicap, most of the field having run against one another in the last month. Recent winner Araifjan is reliable and a 2lbs rise should not stop him going close again, while Lezardrieux is progressive and may not have finished improving yet. But, perhaps blinkers will unlock some untapped potential in the lightly raced CENTURION SONG, and he’s taken to come out on top.
The Ralph Beckett team is going along very nicely, so SAM COOKE is perhaps worth a chance to put a poor run in the November Handicap behind him as that was the first backward step of his career. Koeman did well on all-weather earlier in his career and is respected dropping into a Class 3 for the first time since his Newbury win last autumn.
Guroor didn’t have much to spare here last time, but has a progressive all-weather record. It would be no surprise to see her pull out a bit more and have a big say again.
Strong market confidence behind Ursa Minor would likely be significant, but he’s been off a long time so the percentage call at this stage is fellow three-year-old SIAVASH (NAP). There didn’t appear to be any element of luck about last weekend’s stable debut success here, and he could still be well treated off 2lbs higher with the longer trip promising to show him in an even better light.
Top Fox is probably worth giving the benefit of the doubt for last time and remains open to progress now stepping up in trip, but preference is for UNTOLD STORY who could be useful based on his promising debut run in the summer.
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