Eljaddaaf has hit the crossbar on his last two starts but can claim a deserved share of the Chelmsford spotlight by winning the Bet Trifecta At totesport.com Handicap.
The seven-year-old has turned a bit of a corner since the new year, with a disappointing pre-Christmas run firmly put behind him with his two 2018 starts.
That initial start in December – his first since last June – clearly had the desired effect as Eljaddaaf was only beaten half a length at Kempton at the beginning of January before finding only his fellow Dean Ivory inmate Lucymai too good at that track last time.
Lucymai was completing a hat-trick when winning that day so she clearly had plenty of momentum behind her while Eljaddaaf just could not quite find his way through from the back of the pack at the finish.
A 1lb rise for his fast-finishing defeat there does not seem too harsh.
Adam Kirby maintains his partnership with Good Business in the first division of the Bet quadpot At totesport.com Handicap and he can follow up a recent win.
Formerly with Jeremy Noseda he is now in the care of Henry Spiller and wasted no time in getting off the mark for his new yard.
Over the same course and distance he should take the beating, despite a 5lb rise.
Richard Fahey’s Sugar Coating should come on plenty for a promising debut at Wolverhampton and looks the potential class act in the Bet Scoop6 At totesport.com Novice Stakes. A 90,000 guineas purchase, she was beaten by an Irish raider who knew more about the game on her first run but ran on well late to suggest the penny was beginning to drop.
Paddyplex can claim a nice prize for Keith Dalgleish in the Betway Handicap at Newcastle.
After winning his first two he had the misfortune of taking on Dubawi Fifty last time out but lost little in defeat.
With just 1lb more on his back he looks sure to run well.
Western Ryder flopped in the Tolworth last time but can get his Cheltenham Festival campaign back on track in the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon.
Warren Greatrex’s runner was sent off favourite for that Grade One heat on the back of two previous hurdle wins, including a defeat of Betfair Hurdle favourite Lalor at Cheltenham in December.
However, Western Ryder was never really travelling on what was very testing ground at Sandown and while Huntingdon will hardly be quick, it should not be as deep and this six-year-old should feel the benefit.
Zipple Back is an eyecatching contender as he has his first start for Harry Fry, and his first outing since last May, in the Racing UK In HD Handicap Hurdle.
Previously trained by Alan King, Zipple Back was a 19-length winner at Stratford last May before following up by 26 lengths at Uttoxeter at the end of that month.
He really did not beat much, but his mark of 128 looks pretty workable for Fry.
OK Corral was turned over as an odds-on favourite at Newbury last month but his supporters can recoup some losses in Doncaster’s sunbets.co.uk Novices’ Hurdle.
Beaten two and a quarter lengths by dual Festival winner Yorkhill in a Punchestown bumper back in 2015, OK Corral looked as though he could live up to the hype when coasting home by 12 lengths over hurdles on his first start in two years last May.
However, Nicky Henderson then had to endure another long period on the sidelines with this horse before taking the wraps off again only to find his stablemate, Whatswrongwithyou, too good under a penalty.
OK Corral clearly has some questions to answer but the possible better ground on Town Moor would be a huge positive for him.
TURF TALK TIPS
CHELMSFORD: 5.55 Dor’s Law, 6.30 Rosedale Topping, 7.00 Good Business (treble), 7.30 Bop It, 8.00 ELJADDAAF (NAP), 8.30 Sugar Coating, 9.00 Mister Music.
DONCASTER: 1.55 Sharp Response, 2.25 OK Corral (next best), 3.00 Three Ways, 3.30 Gunfleet, 4.05 Jurby, 4.40 Hurricane Rita.
HUNTINGDON: 1.15 Wisecracker, 1.45 Free Range, 2.15 Western Ryder, 2.50 Zipple Back, 3.20 Glenforde, 3.55 Comely, 4.30 Never Go Short.
NEWCASTLE: 2.05 Navajo Star, 2.40 Paddyplex, 3.10 Highwayman, 3.45 Stoneboat Bill, 4.20 Henpecked, 4.55 Ascot Week, 5.30 Mayfair Rock.
TOWCESTER: 1.50 Before Midnight, 2.20 Dontminddboys, 2.55 Itsnonofurbusiness, 3.25 Aaron Lad, 4.00 Finish The Story, 4.35 Fearsome Fred.