Top tips from The Colonel

Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford Photo: SM150211-009js
Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford Photo: SM150211-009js
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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 and is regularly on television.

The Giant Bolster is on course for a crack at the £200,000 Grade One Betfair Chase, the highlight of the two-day Betfair Chase Festival at Haydock Park later this month.

The seven-year-old was last seen finishing an excellent second in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March and he is around 12/1 with the bookmakers. He came fourth behind Long Run in the Grade Two Denman Chase at Newbury in February, after an impressive victory in the Grade Three Murphy Group Chase at Cheltenham in January, scoring by 17 lengths.

The three-mile contest at Haydock Park has attracted 19 exciting entries headed by two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners in the form of Long Run and Imperial Commander, who triumphed in Jump racing’s Blue Riband in 2011 and 2010 respectively. Imperial Commander landed the Betfair Chase in 2010.

Other notable entries include last season’s Grade One RSA Chase hero Bobs Worth and David Pipe’s impressive Grands Crus. Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has four entries, headed by impressive Charlie Hall Chase winner Silviniaco Conti.

The highlight of my weekend’s racing was Richard Hughes becoming champion flat jockey on the finale day of the 2012 flat season at Doncaster on Saturday.

Hughes said: “I am just so pleased but I’m also relieved it’s all over. I can now relax and enjoy it.”

Flemenstar ( 10/11 fav) won in good style at Navan on Sunday in the Irish Form Book Fortria Chase and now goes straight into the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a 7/1 price tag from Coral.

Keiran Burk’s Hunt Ball at 6/1 is the bet for the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday with the hot favourite Grand Crus trained by David Pipe the one to beat.

On the Sunday, in the Racing Post Handicap Hurdle, Nicky Henderson’s Darlan (9/2) will be well fancied to go close in this £100,000 Grade three contest. And a big outsider that I fancy to chase home the nap selection is Blue Bajan ( 33/1).

Ring the Colonel on 07850 602524 and stay ahead of the game.