TOP racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead.
Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days, is regularly seen on TV and runs his own website www.betwiththecolonel.co.uk
TONY McCoy will be out of action for a least another week, after his crunching fall at Taunton last week.
The champion jockey, who is on course for his 17th consecutive jockeys’ title with 174 winners, has fractured his ribs and has bruising on his lungs.
* CHAMPION Court (6-1) won the big race at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, the Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices Chase, for trainer Martin Keightly, beating the smart Solix with the (6-5) favourite Sonofvic back in fifth.
The winner barely touched a twig throughout the race and is now best priced at 16-1 for the Jewson Novices Chase.
This bold frontrunner from a shrewd yard looks worth following this year.
Colin Tizzard’s stable star Cue Card may return to Newbury (Spirit Chase) for his Cheltenham Festival prep next month. The front-running chaser is a 10-1 chance for the Irish Independent Arkle Chase in March.
A gutsy win at Newbury on New Years Day was his second win over fences after his Chepstow debut win. Tizzard said this week: “Newbury was a lovely performance from a lovely young horse and we’ll look for somewhere again before Cheltenham, back at Newbury or Warwick.”
Big Zeb, who is two wins from two this season, runs next in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on February 5. Colm Murphy reports the 11yo to be in rude form, and the six-time Grade 1 winner has the Queen Mother Champion Chase as his target were he is best priced at 5-1 with high street bookmakers.
Captain Chris has been backed this week at 20-1 by some shrewd judges for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He travels and jumps well most of the time and could be a lively outsider for the Gold Cup come March.
* MY note-pad horse this week is Seamster who finished down the field in the 7f Handicap at Southwell on Monday.
I hope to see the 5yo over 6f next time out on the fibresand. At the furlong pole he must have traded short in-running and for me simply did not see out the trip. Richard Ford’s 5yo looks an honest horse on the surface and one to watch closely.
At Sandown on Saturday, Tanks For That looks a good prospect in the 2.05, 32 Red Handicap Chase to keep Nicky Henderson’s 35% strike rate up.
Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh can team up with Prospect Wells in the 2.35 (grade 1) Tolworth Hurdle.
The best bet at Wincanton is Langley in the 1.50 Bathwick Tyres Novices Handicap Hurdle, Tim Vaughan’s 5yo is strongly fancied to land the hat-trick even with the 7lb penalty to defy.
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