1.35pm Ludlow Tips & Betting Preview 21/12/2016

A field of classy handicap chasers go to post for the 3rd race of the day at Ludlow, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Preference is for SIZING PLATINUM, who was a promising 4th at Cheltenham on his latest start and this drop back in trip may well be just what he needs. He’s turned out quickly after that run which could suggest they’re trying to take advantage of a lenient handicap mark. The main danger could be Colin’s Brother who won well on his seasonal reappearance and should improve.

1 BALTIMORE ROCK – Running consistently well in the main but hasn’t been so good the last twice, falling at Cheltenham in the Arkle when struggling and was all but tailed off at Punchestown latest (2m, Yielding). Returns to slightly calmer waters today but may face a tough task off of top weight.

2 SIZING PLATINUM – Could only manage fourth at Cheltenham on his latest start (2m, Good to Soft) but that was a promising effort and this drop in trip may well just be what he needs. He’s turned out quickly by Colin Tizzard which is a positive sign and is on a handicap mark that could well underestimate him. Needs lots of respect.

3 GARDEFORT – Not the most consistent and has not completed his last two starts, the latest of which when unseating his rider at the 2nd fence at Haydock on Saturday (1m7f, Soft). Does have some useful form in the book including a good 3rd at Doncaster in January (2m, Good) but its hard to trust that he’ll put his best foot forward today.

4 NOCHE DE REYES – Tom George won this race last year and his charge in the race this season has been running well for the majority of this year including two wins over C&D in March and April. Would be a surprise not to see him involved and has definite place claims today.

5 FESTIVE AFFAIR – Previous C&D winner back in April and has run very consistently since then, including his latest victory at Doncaster last month (2m, Soft), digging deep to find extra in the closing stages. Impossible to discount and should be in the fight for places.

6 DOITFORTHEVILLAGE – Lightly raced 7 year old who’s been a mixed bag thus far over fences, although did win comfortably at Lingfield earlier this month (2m, Good to Soft). Pitched into harder company today and will have to improve again to feature, but is worth a second look.

7 COLIN’S BROTHER – Only raced 3 times over fences, winning his latest start at Bangor when eased down to success (2m1f, Soft). Should come on from that run as he’s very lightly raced over fences and that was his seasonal reappearance so has to be considered a main danger to the selection today.

8 DOITFORTHEVILLAGE – Very inconsistent over fences but has won twice, the latest of which when staying on very strongly at Lingfield 11 days ago (2m, Good to Soft). Will need further improvement to feature today but very hard to rule out for the Paul Henderson stable with the inform Paddy Brennan up top.

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