The Punt Daily: Tom Collins' free horse racing tips on New Year's Day
John Quinn is 5-12 (42 per cent, +£9.61 to £1 level stakes) with hurdlers at Musselburgh over the last five years and can enhance his record with this unexposed five-year-old. Ashington showed some ability on the Flat when with Luca Cumani and developed into a useful stayer before moving to John Quinn's yard. After four down-the-field efforts this summer, Ashington switched codes and made an immediate effect. He followed up a runner-up effort at Sedgefield on debut with decisive scores at Stratford and here in novice company and now enters handicaps for the first time. A mark of 121 surely underestimates him and Quinn knows what it takes to win this race after Palawi's victory in 2012.
Tea TimeOn Mars(12.40 Exeter)
Sue Gardner's seven-year-old caught the eye on bumper debut back in May 2017 but was never sighted on his next five outings (one bumper, four novice hurdles) before causing a 25-1 shock at Wincanton off a mark of 100 in February. Gardner could offer no explanation for the improvement of form that day but he was clearly chucked in off his mark and seemed to relish the longer trip of 2m5½f. Tea Time On Mars has run in two chases since, showing up well for a long way in both of them before making catastrophic errors, and looks one to follow now in handicaps off a lowly mark. This looks a weak affair and a clear round of jumping should see him come out on top.
One of my favourite horses in training, Kalashnikov is a top-class two-and-a-half miler and has been very unlucky on a few occasions, including when unseating in the Arkle in March when probably travelling the best. That 2m trip would have been on the short side for him but the fact he was still going well suggests he would have proved hard to beat. He has finished second on both starts this campaign but was unfavoured by the dulled-off obstacles on his reappearance before being chinned at Newbury having looked the winner throughout. He has to carry top weight once again but can show his class to get off the mark for the season.
Did you know that you can get The Punt earlier on our app?Downloadto get it from 7.30am every morning