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Sharp Saunders to play Jack Of Diamonds late

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To celebrate the countdown to Christmas, the Racing Post is giving away one piece of paid content free each day. Here Tom Collins reveals his three fancies for Tuesday's action at Wolverhampton and Lingfield

Jack Of Diamonds

12.40 Wolverhampton
2pts win

For Carmel
2.00 Lingfield
2pts win

Steaming
2.40 Wolverhampton
1pt win

The openingBetway Apprentice Handicap (12.40) at Wolverhampton showcases some of the best young talents in the weighing room and Tyler Saunders, who shone on the improving handicapper Imphal on the turf over the summer, can strike aboard the enthusiastic veteranJack Of Diamonds.

Although an eight-year-old, he shows the desire and vigour of a horse half his age and he's been knocking on the door with runner-up efforts on his last two starts, both off 1lb lower.

He was beaten just a length on both occasions– running on strongly inside the final furlong after being held up in the early stages– and looks a winner in waiting.

His mark of 68 is certainly lenient, given he won off 20lb higher in April last year, andhe has a great record at Wolverhampton, with four victories from 12 starts.

Boycie looks the only conceivable danger but he's been dramatically out of form of late and Rossa Ryan will have to be at his best to get his head in front, consequently making Jack Of Diamonds a confident selection.

Later on the card, recent scorerSteaminglooks to have a good chance of following up in the featureBetway Stayers Handicap (2.40) under Richard Kingscote.

He was beginning to look exposed in maidens when consistentlyfinding one or two to good, but was sparked into life when fitted with first-time cheekpieces at Chelmsford last time out and won going away off a mark of 75.

The aid has been retained and trainer Ralph Beckett has further upped him in trip to 2m½f– three furlongs further than at Chelmsford– which looks certain to suit this doughty galloper.

The handicapper has raised him only 3lb for his victory – which is relatively kind given the three in behind him on that occasion came from strong yards (albeit they've allbeendisappointing)– and with a nice racing weight of 9st 1lb, he's worth backing.

Captain Navarre is an interesting runner but he's had his problems and will be worth monitoring in the market.

The other two fixtures to take place on Tuesday come at Southwell and Lingfield and, having struggled to find anything even slightly interesting on the Nottinghamshire venue's seven-race card, my final bet of the day goes in the Starspreads.com Novices' Handicap Chase (2.00) at Lingfield.

For Carmel, whofinished second behind the well-handicapped Dandy Duke on only his second start for trainer Paul Henderson after moving from Irish-based MickWinters, could go one better with his mark left unchanged.

He travelled like a dream throughout that race for Paddy Brennan and traded at a much shorter price than his SP of 8-1 when hitting the front coming into the home straight.

However, the winner was in a different parish that day and, if you take him out of the race, For Carmel comfortably held off his other eight rivals.

That effort came on heavy ground– as have most of his runs in Ireland– so the return to slightly better conditions presents a small question mark, but he beat the now 138-rated chaser Jonniesofa on his first point-to-point start on soft ground in January 2015 and he should have too much class for these.

What I learned in the last week

Nicky Henderson could have a really good one on his hands in the shape of Santini, who trounced his talented rivals in the 2m4½f novice hurdle at Newbury on Friday. He's a very big, scopey sort and his trainer mentioned that they'll look after him until he tackles a fence, but he has a load of talent and 3m should be his trip.


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He has a great record at Wolverhampton with four victories from 12 starts
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