Our first bet of the day is at Kelso, where a return to better ground may well be the answer for Book Of Invasions.
A good sort in bumpers, he shed his maiden tag at the first time of asking over hurdles for John Ryan last season, but failed to build on that and connections god his wind done last May, at which point he was moved to Lucinda Russell.
I thought he jumped proficiently on his chasing debut in August (off a mark of 115) and again at Musselburgh in December (off 105), travelling very sweetly on the latter occasion, but just not finishing off his race, though it’s worth noting his yard had a 2% strike-rate in December.
He has disappointed twice on heavy ground this term, but had a confidence-boosting run back on the All-Weather last time, and now returns to chasing off a career-low mark, with the Russell team in good form, and he is back on good to soft ground, which should prove much more to his liking. This looks a weak enough contest and I think the track will suit, so he is a confident selection.
12.55pm Kelso – 1pt win Book Of Invasions @ 5-1 (various, take Best Odds Guaranteed)
Our second bet goes in the sprint handicap at Lingfield Park (1.25pm), where Blue De Vega looks a cracking bet.
The eight year old was right back to his best in 2020, winning four times, the latest of them off a mark of 100 in October. He returned from just over four months off in a Listed race over CD last time, finishing strongly to take third behind Lord Riddiford.
A line through that one ties Blue De Vega in closely with Tone The Barone, who is an improving sprinter and very much a leading contender here. However, there is a very big discrepancy in the price between them and I think Blue De Vega has been underestimated.
He is more than entitled to come on for that reappearance run, which was in itself an excellent effort. Furthermore, RObert Cowell has booked Benoit De La Sayette, who has made a huge impression on the All-Weather this winter. His claim is clearly being protected for the turf season (he is 9-26 this year, but could easily have had five times the number of rides), so it’s interesting he is on board here and the 7lbs he claims really is exceptional value.
1.25pm Lingfield Park – 1pt win Blue De Vega @ 6-1 (Bet365, 11/2 WillHill, PaddyPower, Betfair, Skybet)