Steve Ryder starts off 2018 with four selections on a busy day of racing. Follow SteveRyder13 on twitter for early selections.
1:55 Fakenham- Artifice Sivola 2/1 (1pt) Currently 11/4 at time of posting
Artifice Sivola has form figures at Fakenham of 2P111F and you can forgive his last run where he was still travelling well when falling 3 out. Following the fall he reverts back to hurdles off a mark of 124 in a race that he won last year off a mark of 118. He won the race by 8 lengths under Jack Sherwood claiming 3lb and Lucy Wadham has booked Maxime Tissier to claim 7lb off his back this year. He has had three rides in the UK so far, 1st at 2/1, 12th at 33/1 and 10th at 20/1 so he has a good record on fancied runners so far. I tipped him at 2/1 last night but he is available at 11/4 this morning.
2:00 Cheltenham- Top Gamble 11/2 (1pt ew) Currently 9/2 at time of posting
Top Gamble runs in this race for the third year in a row off a mark of 154 with the fantastic 7lb claimer James Bowen booked. He finished 3rd in 2016 off a mark of 153 on heavy ground and 3rd last year off a mark of 159 on soft ground which means off a mark of 147 (with claim) back on heavy ground he should have a huge chance. He ran really well at Cork behind Un De Sceaux in the Hilly Way Chase on heavy ground and on that performance it seems he is back to form. Ladbrokes are paying 4 places in the race so I would recommend using them if backing each way in the race.
2:05 Fairyhouse- Patricks Park 11/10 (5pt) Currently 11/8 at time of posting
Patricks Park looks absolutely chucked in on his debut for Willie Mullins having been transferred back to Ireland after two runs for Matt Sheppard in the UK. He was previously trained by David Kelly in Ireland where running to ratings of 104 over hurdles and 113 over fences. His last run was over fences at Ffos Las where he won easily by 12 lengths and has gone up 11lb for that performance (now rated 124). He now switches to Willie Mullins who reverts him back to hurdles where he is now 20lb lower on ratings. Mullins often improves horses from other stables and you would expect him to get improvement out of a horse from Matt Sheppard.
3:10 Cheltenham- Rayvin Black 33/1 (0.5pt ew) Still 33/1 at time of posting
Rayvin Black has a better record going right handed which is the reason he hasn’t ran at Cheltenham before but he did run well at Ffos Las last time going left handed. He loves heavy ground and has the previous form to be involved in this race given that he was rated at a high of 149. He ran well on heavy ground behind Buveur D’Air in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown last season when beaten 1 ½ lengths by the Champion Hurdler albeit that the winner finished hard held. That form does have some substance given that he beat Irving by 10 lengths back in third who finished second in Grade 1 Fighting Fifth hurdle this season once again. He has about 20lb to find on ratings at present but given that he handles heavy ground well I think he is worth chancing each way in a open looking race.
1:55 Fakenham- Artifice Sivola 2/1 (1pt) click here for best odds
2:00 Cheltenham- Top Gamble 11/2 (1pt ew) click here for best odds
2:05 Fairyhouse- Patricks Park 11/10 (5pt) click here for best odds
3:10 Cheltenham- Rayvin Black 33/1 (0.5pt ew) click here for best odds
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