2.50pm Ffos Las Tips & Betting Preview 21/12/2016

Eight horses line up for this Class 4 handicap chase over a 2m7f today at Ffos Las. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Deputy Commander has a good pedigree for fences and he could outclass these if coping with his penalty for winning at Doncaster last month. He has a good claimer on board and hopes will be high he can repeat the dose but DR ROBIN has looked like he has been getting the hang of things lately, and with a superior hurdling mark to the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner, he can make his presence felt in an intriguing little race. Highway Storm has a good attitude and can follow them home.

1 The Horsechestnut – Point winner in 2013 and won on his third attempt over hurdles at Uttoxeter last Spring when trained by Jennie Candlish. Returned from a long lay off in a tough race at Punchestown (Soft) last month, only to fall on his chase debut over 2m4f after moving yards, looking held by the winner. Back with his former trainer now and only 2lb higher than his last win, needs to recapture his old hurdling form to land a blow here and best watched for now.

2 Deputy Commander – Won in this company over hurdles at Uttoxeter (Heavy) in May over a shorter trip and good third on last start of the season at Ludlow (Good/Soft). Built for chasing being a son of Shantou he scored on debut in this sphere, just getting up over this trip twenty-six days ago. Up 5lb for that win and should go well with his promising claimer taking off a useful 7lb. Solid claims.

3 Highway Storm – Won an Irish point and scored on his fifth run for the yard when winning at this track (Heavy) in similar company, staying on to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Followed that up by winning on his second start on this course after a break of seven months, getting up to win by a neck over 2m4f (Soft) from a horse that has won in easy fashion since (Zephyros Bleu in sixth). Conditions fine and has placed form over further but up 9lb and could be vulnerable to a progressive rival. Worth a market check.

4 Zephyros Bleu – Lightly raced for his age and had some good runs over hurdles without winning in the last two years, finishing runner up twice from seven runs. Pulled up twice in that sphere on softer ground and made a bad mistake three out when only sixth of eight behind Highway Storm on chasing debut at this track over 2m4f last month. Looks held here by a few rivals for win purposes.

5 Dr Robin – Lightly raced 6-y-o and dual winner over hurdles at Southwell and Worcester up to this trip last year achieving a mark of 120 in the process. Third behind Walk On Al (second) at Chepstow over today’s trip in a similar race last month and entitled to come on for that on only his third chase start with that one having franked the form since. His pedigree suggests he can handle this surface and if able to recapture his hurdling form, he could be a big player in this field.

6 Walk On Al – Only tow career wins so far at this level, followed up his good second at Chepstow last month (Dr Robin third) and won on last start on this course over 3m nine days ago, staying on resolutely for a half length victory. Has been in and out form for most of his career however and his willingness has to be taken on trust in this. Wears cheekpieces in this (idled badly last time on the run-in) and has a 7lb penalty to contend with. Best watched significantly down in trip.

7 Allez Vic – Four time winner over hurdles up to this level but yet to win over fences in thirteen attempts. Third of 7 over C&D in April and decent fifth of 7 at Ludlow (Good) twenty-three days ago. On a dangerous mark for this but hasn’t won since early last year and others come into this in better form.

8 Ambion Lane – Lightly raced 6-y-o and hasn’t won in five career starts. Makes his chasing debut today and could be one for handicaps further down the line. Others look more persuasive and easy to overlook today.

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