Wetherby Expert Eye Tips: Three handicappers to back on Friday January 7

Considering a punt on Friday's jumps action at Wetherby? A read of our expert eye article first might just help you turn a profit.

We have three outright picks and you can scroll down for the reasons behind them along with some useful stats, or click on the horse's names below to go straight to Planet Sport Bet and place your bets.

Selections:

Dequall each-way (13.25 Wetherby)

Cooper's Cross (14.00 Wetherby)

Starvoski (15.05 Wetherby)

Course characteristics

Left-handed. Circuit 1m4f. 4f straight, slightly uphill.

Top trainers with runners

North Yorkshire-based Philip Kirby has sent out 23 winners (175 runners, 13%) at the track over the past five seasons and he's solely represented this afternoon by Tommaso in the juvenile hurdle (12.50).

Top jockeys with rides

Champion jockey Brian Hughes has ridden 31 winners from 186 rides (17%) over the same period and he has three chances to add to that tally: Kayfast Warrior (12.50), Donladd (15.05) and Bolton (15.35).

Champion jockey Brian Hughes has three chances at Wetherby

13.25 Wetherby - Dequall

Stuart Coltherd, who is based in the Scottish Borders, runs a couple of horses this afternoon with his jockey son Sam doing the pushing and both have to be of interest at decent odds, starting with Dequall in this 3m handicap hurdle.

The six-year-old has not finished better than fifth in three outings this season but good ground at Kelso on his return to action over hurdles in October wouldn't have suited as it didn't bring his stamina into play, while the six-year-old was entitled to be a bit rusty on his first run back since May.

He's run twice over fences since then and had conditions to suit last time out at Carlisle but he didn't jump with any real fluency, with an error in the back straight on the final circuit proving particularly costly, and he trailed home in seventh.

Now back over the smaller obstacles and with the cheek-pieces he wore when finishing second to an improving type at Kelso in the spring back on, better can be expected.

The stable form - 2-9 in the last fortnight, with both winners ridden by Coltherd Jr. - provides further encouragement.

He's an each-way price with Lucinda Russell's Haydock maiden winner Readysteadybeau, who is a worthy favourite, and My Last Oscar, Somerset-based Nicky Martin's only runner at the track, taking a big chunk out of the market.

14.00 Wetherby - Cooper's Cross

Venetia Williams' Grand Turina is sure to attract plenty of support in this 2m 5f handicap chase as she bids for a hat-trick after wins at Lingfield and Warwick just seven days ago, for which she escapes a penalty.

However, the form of that latter race is dubious given that almost half of the fences were omitted and the 11-year-old, who was a maiden over fences prior to the start of this season, looks opposable at short odds.

We're going to take her on with Stuart Coltherd's Cooper's Cross, who is four years her junior and is very much open to further improvement on just his fourth chase start, having already broken his duck over shorter at Sedgefield in November.

Upped to 3m on his most recent start at Newcastle, he was sent off favourite and led after four out, only to tire and get headed by the eventual winner Winds Of Fire at the last, with the pair finishing well clear of the remainder.

On that evidence, today's drop back in trip could prove ideal for the selection and a mark of 117 shouldn't be beyond him by any means.

15.05 Wetherby - Starvoski

None of the seven runners for this 2m handicap chase can be ruled out with any confidence and both Boagrius and Relkadam showed enough last time out to suggest they will be taking advantage of their lenient marks sooner rather than later.

But in a wide open handicap we're going to take a chance on Kim Bailey's mare, who failed to justify strong market support on her chase debut at Warwick last month, when finishing a well beaten ninth under today's rider David Bass.

That was disappointing but she'd clearly been showing something at home beforehand and we know she has ability based on her four runs over hurdles, which included a wide-margin success at Southwell and a respectable fourth on her handicap debut at Sandown, where a juddering mistake at the second-last spoilt her chance.

As a winning pointer with the size and scope for chasing, she can surely win races over fences starting off from her lowly mark of 109, and her stable is also in better form now.

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