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BillyHills

Racing Chat - Wednesday April 19th

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315 Cheltenham

Divine Spear NAP 4/1 Bet365
Nicky Henderson continues to bang in the winners and if any horse deserves a win then Divine Spear is it. He was 3rd at January trials meeting off a mark of 127 and then followed that with a good effort at Ascot where he was beaten into second spot by an improver. Last time out he was second again at Kempton to Brio Conti and that form is very solid indeed. This looks slightly easier and will enjoy the decent ground.

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2.25 Newmarket: European Free Handicap, 7f

Interesting Frankel son Seven Heaven is lining up in this Listed contest. He's not the favourite but the least exposed in the field. How good he is remains to be seen, of course, but he certainly created  a big impression on debut putting away subsequent National Stakes third Lockheed.

We didn't learn allot about him in his next two starts: at Goodwood in a 2-runner race he made clearly no mistake against a rival now rated in the 70's, while in the Racing Post Trophy he pulled his chances away, so that form is one to excuse I suggest.

There is a fair chance that Seven Heaven will be a much better three year old given he was a very late foal, nonetheless looked  strong and scopey as a juvenile. And there is Frankel, the father, who has made a tremendous start to the year with his first three year old's hitting the race course - albeit only on the All-Weather so far.

But that could be a key indicator: last season not a single of his two year offspring got even placed on the sand, whereas this season an eye popping 50% of 14 starters ran into the money for an impressive 36% win rate. Interestingly the overall SP's stayed basically the same, so his sons and daughters were not simply better fancied than last season.

I suspect this Listed contest might only be a stepping stone for Seven Heaven. He's from an excellent family non only on the sire but also the dam side suggesting he and can step up in trip.

But I've no worries in terms of race fitness here, though. John Gosden said this race was the early season target for quite some time. And that makes sense. This is a real test against fine opposition.

Selection:
10pts win - Seven Heaven @ 7/2 Bet365

.......

5.45 Beverley: Class 4 Handicap, 7.5f

Plenty unexposed individuals lining up here. Fahey's Areen Heart could be too good if improved over the winter while the Shamadal filly Salamah deserves another chance, particularly at this course where her daddy has a tremendous record.

However I take a chance with race fit Lualiwa. This lad progressed nicely as a juvenile and his 2l beaten fourth in a hot Doncaster nursery on Handicap debut looks particularly strong form given the winner is now a 101 rated horse.

Lualiwa returned at Chelmsford last month in a rather poor maiden. He did no make a mistake, though. Storming out of the gates to make all from the front, travelling super strongly and putting the race to bed easily.

His current mark of 79 could underestimate him taking into account his juvenile form and strong visual impression last month. He's expected to improve as a three year old and is a nice scopey type.

Selection:
10pts win - Lualiwa @ 6/1 Paddy Power

......

6.20 Beverley: Class 5 Handicap, 8.5f

Bottom weight Make On Madam must have a tremendous chance to get up in this race. Her win record isn't all that impressive and her record over this sort of trip isn't either. However she's going really well at this track, runs consistently well off higher marks here and won of 1lb higher last season a 7.5f Handicap at Beverley

On fast ground - which is fine for her - she has probably a pretty decent chance to stay the trip from a good draw, even more so in a slightly easier race, here against her own sex.

She had an excellent pipe opener last month at Newcastle over 7f too, finishing third, when staying on strongly in the end. With age she simply might have a bit more stamina than before.

Selection:
10pts win - Make On Madam @ 13/2 PP

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