Lingfield Winter Millions | Chewy to prevail in Masterful fashion

Punchestown Festival

The last seven days have seen national hunt racing fall victim to the elements, though the final day of the Lingfield Winter Millions meeting should provide a good deal of entertainment.

Protektorat, L’Homme Presse, and JPR One are horses to be excited about in Britain while a clash between Allaho and Appreciate It would water the mouth of any jumps fan.

So, let’s get stuck into the action.


Win Bets

1:15 Lingfield – Master Chewy @ 7/2 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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Any loyal followers of the Only Fools Love Horses YouTube channel (love you all) might have seen me speak about the Grade 2 Lightening Novices’ Chase at Lingfield and suggest Matata was a “fair enough price” at 8/1.

At the time, this was a very correct statement, and he is one I think can go well, but at the current prices, my finalised first-choice fancy would go to Master Chewy for the Twiston-Davies team of Sam and Nigel.

My reason for jumping ship is I took a deeper dive into Master Chewy’s success in the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton.

His overall time was quicker than the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase, won by the 159-rated Editeur Du Gite, and although he carried five fewer pounds (which I’ve taken into consideration), his finishing effort was notably quicker as well.

His runs this season have shown he can sit handily behind a front-running leader and pounce with speed in the final few furlongs, so with a good pace to aim at thanks to stablemate Matata, Nigel Twiston-Davies seems to have a good hand.


1:50 Lingfield – Saint Segal @ 9/4 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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As much as we love to tune our minds into thinking where certain horses are heading for specific Cheltenham Festival handicaps, sometimes it’s easier to ignore that and stick to focusing on one day at a time.

With this mentality onboard, Saint Segal is a horse I’m a big fan of and I think he can win a competitive renewal of the Godstone Handicap Chase.

I believe that the six-year-old would go well in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham off his current mark of 139, but today’s contest will be weaker than any Cheltenham handicap and today’s winner receives a healthy cheque for £26,405.

Therefore, why wouldn’t connections want to go for a race like this, especially with a horse who was in the process of beating Boothill at Ascot last time out before falling at the final flight?

Unfortunately, the handicapper has given him three pounds for that effort but there is still wiggle room off his current official rating and trainer Jane Williams is operating at a 30% strike rate from her last 10 runners.


2:25 Lingfield – Nurse Susan @ 7/2 with William Hill – 1pt Win

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With Cheltenham in mind, it’s interesting that Dan Skelton has given Nurse Susan an entry for both the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle and Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle at this year’s Festival.

The seven-year-old has good form with Love Envoi since early 2022 and managed to get herself back into the winners’ enclosure at Prestbury Park in December thanks to a gritty performance in a handicap.

Up just four pounds for the success to 129, she could feasibly still be well-handicapped off that mark and she’s tackling 2m7f for the very first time, something which could see her improve further.

Skelton and the team have always rated her as a decent animal, so with her rating still at a workable level, hopefully she can continue her progress at Lingfield today.


Each-way Bet

3:35 Lingfield – Notachance @ 20/1 with William Hill – 0.5pt EW

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As for the each-way bet today, I’m taking a chance on Notachance off what is a very reasonable mark.

The 10-year-old hasn’t lived up to his ability since his third in last year’s Warwick Classic Chase, though as such he has dropped 10lbs since to 122.

He is a proven stayer for Alan King and some of his good performances have received a nice form boost, notably that Classic Chase third as Mr Incredible subsequently finished third in the King Muir and the fourth, Guetapan Collonges, has improved nine pounds since.

A spark of revival is needed, but his last few heavy defeats haven’t done him justice and he is a tasty-enough price today in order to take a chance.

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