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The Tipping Tim looks ahead to the start of the flat season

Cheltenham is over for another year, but the odds don’t stop at Coral Towers and we’re already foaming at the mouth with anticipation ahead of Saturday’s Winter Derby at Lingfield.  As much as I love the action from the Cotswolds I feel much more comfortable betting on the Polytrack, and it must be easier to find winners in ten-runner races than it is to find winners in twenty-five runner races…..mustn’t it?

The feature race is at 3.30, and all the money through the week has been for Roger Varian’s progressive four-year-old Farraaj.  He’s clearly going the right way now but the race he won last time was pretty average, and I’d rather be a layer than a backer around the 9/4 mark. The two I like are last year’s one-two Premio Loco and Cai Shen and, although the former is one of my favourite horses in training, I have to side with the sprightly Cai Shen to foil the admirable old timer this time.

Another cracking race on Saturday’s card is the Spring Cup at 2.55 and, ever since the wonderful Paco Boy won this in 2008, my first port of call has always been Richard Hannon’s selected runner.  This year he saddles the flashy chestnut Emell and, having beaten some classy types when finishing second at Doncaster, this son of Medicean looks like a rock solid favourite tomorrow.  At a bigger price Ashamaly could run much better than his mark suggests he will, but I’ll be keeping Emell well onside in this.

For the post-Cheltenham Trixie I’m going to side with Intransigent in the Listed Sprint at 2.20.   He travelled like a decent horse on his return to action at Wolves last week and I’ll be betting him to turn the tables on Tarooq over the minimum distance tomorrow.

Whether you are spinning up your Festival winnings or (like me) chasing your losses, good luck with all your bets this weekend!