Saturday, 16 December 2017

International Meeting Day Two: I am sweet on Melon

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We had four winners yesterday, including 16-1 Bless The Wings, and James Stevens has picked out his best bets from day two of the International Meeting.

12:10 - Apple's Shakira
This is one to watch! Apple's Shakira was tipped and was outstanding on her sole start for Nicky Henderson and she will improve for the run and something will need to be amiss for her to get beat today.

12:45 - Movewiththetimes
Paul Nicholls thinks very highly of this horse who has ran very well in his two outings over fences. He finished second at this track a month ago in what looked a very hot race, and he won't face as good a rival as Finian's Oscar here. He will like the conditions and he can run a very big race here.

1:20 - Gino Trial, Bentelimar ew
Kerry Lee's ten-year-old was a very stylish winner at Wetherby a few weeks back and can continue to run well here. He acts very well on this sort of ground, and although he hasn't ran here, I would be confident he can run a fine race.

Bentelimar could be well-handicapped here and despite a poor effort last time could bounce back on ground that will suit.

1:55 - Le Prezien
I think Paul Nicholls' charge can land the big one today after running so well here a month back. He goes off 2lb higher but there is a big run to come from him soon, I am sure of it and he can build on what he has already achieved. He will enjoy the conditions and can go very well here.

2:30 - Kilbricken Storm, Global Stage
This is a very interesting Grade Two and I have been stuck on it for a while. Kilbricken Storm ran really well at Wincanton last month and won quite easily and this will measure how good he is. This is isn't the strongest race and he must have a chance, especially as he runs well in similar conditions.

Global Stage is the outsider of the field but his form adds up really well and he could certainly outrun his odds here.

3:05 - Melon
I really was impressed by the way Melon destroyed the field over in Ireland on his last start and I think there is every reason he can do it again. He has always been regarded as an excellent hurdler and poses a stiff threat to The New One. He is unexposed but there should be a bit more improvement to come this year.

3:40 - Momella, Copper Kay
Momella goes handicapping after some very good efforts as a novice hurdler and I really think she can be excellent in this type of race. She won her first two starts very well before finishing an excellent second to On The Blind Side here last month. This opening mark is very workable, she will enjoy the conditions and can run a big race here.

Phillip Hobbs thinks very highly of Copper Kay, who takes another drop down the handicap after a disappointing effort at Wincanton last month. She should act on the ground and has won at Cheltenham before, so must be capable of making the places.

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