Top tips from The Colonel

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Top racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, will be giving Mercury readers his top racing tips each week.

Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is at trackside most days, is regularly seen on TV and runs his own website.

This week’s tips...

NICKY Henderson has a good horse on his hands in Grandouet, the Seven Barrows hurdler looked a horse with a big future judged on his four length win from the game Overturn in the Stan International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday given an exceptional ride by Barry Geraghty.

It was a dazzling performance by the 5-2 jf his trainer said afterwards “He is very speedy and he really travels.”

Barry said he could have waited even longer, but that’s the way to ride him because he has got a gear and you have to ride him to use it.

As Barry said: “He has improved dramatically Haydock showed us nothing and we had to come here to see if he is a Champion Hurdle horse.”

The bookmakers after the race made him 6-1 secound favourite (from 14) for March Hurricane Fly is the 7-4 favourite, at this stage I find it impossible to see past the Hurricane on what I have seen so far.

The eye-catcher this week is Sir Mark Prescott’s Bold Cuffs second to red hot favourite Sky Crossing at Southwell on Sunday on his debut after being a drifter in the betting the Dutch Art colt looks capable of taking small maiden on the fibersand this winter Seb Sanders gave the 2yo a nice introduction to the race course and was not beaten far by the winner.

The tributes that flooded in this week for Denman’s retirment showed how much the racing public loves there jumpers, at the age of 11 with 14 wins (four Grade Ones) and £1,141,347 in prize money he has more than earnt his pension after the leg injury thats stopped him racing again.

Sam Thomas, who won the Hennessy and Gold Cup on him said: “He had so much speed for a big horse and he attacked his fences. Nothing gave you the feeling of power like him.”

The Tatling had his 176th race at Wolverhampton on Monday and made it number 18 career succes and signed off in style for his retirement.

His vetron trainer Milton Bradley said: “He’s an absolutely fantastic horse that I have ever owned and won for me on his second start at Yarmouth. He’s won now on his final start-you couldn’t write it. It’s a fantastic swansong.”

At Ascot on Saturday Big Buck’s will be the punters weekend banker bet to lift the (2.30) Long Walk Hurdle for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and stable jockey Ruby Walsh, Restless Harry at 16-1 could be the value E/W bet to follow the red hot favourite home on the Berkshire course.

The west country wizzard can take the 3.35 at Ascot, The Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle with the smart Prospect Wells (4-1) and at Carisle on Sunday don’t miss Peedeeque in the 12.50, David O’ Meara’s Novice Hurdler will be hard to beat in this class 4 event.

Down at Kempton Park on Sunday I like the look of Topflight Princess in the 3.45 Adam Kirby takes the ride on the 2yo in this 7f Nursery.

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