Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase betting tips: Duel At Dawn worth a shot at Haydock

Horsebetting.com experts give their Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase betting tips for the 2m 7f feature contest at Haydock on Saturday, 22 December. Duel At Dawn has some very strong form in the book and looks potentially ahead of his mark, so features as the main selection. Kimberlite Candy has a progressive profile and is feared most in his hat-trick bid. Testify, meanwhile, is unbeaten in two starts at the Merseyside venue, so appeals each-way now eased in grade. Read our in-depth 2018 Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase betting tips preview below for more details on these horses’ chances.

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Odds
5/1
Selection
Duel At Dawn
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Betvictor logo
Odds
4/1
Danger
Kimberlite Candy
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Betway logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Testify
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Duel At Dawn weighted to strike in Tommy Whittle

Duel At Dawn looks ahead of his mark and the one to be on in the feature race at Haydock on Saturday, the 2m 7f Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase (14:30). This Alex Hales trained eight-year-old developed into a smart novice chaser last season when winning one of his five starts and posting some other excellent efforts in defeat.

After coming good at the second time of asking over the larger obstacles when running out a facile 16 lengths winner at Fakenham, this son of Presenting ran very well when a six-length runner-up to Sizing Tennessee at Cheltenham. Duel At Dawn made a series of mistakes, but stuck to the task well.

The winner, to whom he was conceding 5lb, won the valuable Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last month by 10 lengths off a mark of 143 to now be rated 159. That gives the form a very strong look and Duel At Dawn backed up that effort with a fine five-length second to Ms Parfois at Warwick.

Form behind Ms Parfois strong

Ms Parfois went on to finish an excellent half-a-length second of 16 to Rathvinden in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and third in a Grade 1 at Aintree to be rated 146, so it was no mean feat in trying to concede her 2lb.

Duel At Dawn was then pulled-up on his final start of the campaign on handicap debut in a Grade 2 at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 141, but now returns to action in this less competitive class 2 affair off 2lb lower.

A revised rating of 139 makes him look potentially thrown in at the weights, especially on his run behind Sizing Tennessee. So, with underfoot conditions ideal, and regular pilot Kielan Woods once again in the saddle, there is simply nothing not to like about Duel At Dawn’s chances in this. Hence he had to feature as the main selection in our 2018 Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase betting tips.

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Progressive Kimberlite Candy feared most

Trainer Tom Lacey has made a fine start to the season, so his Kimberlite Candy is feared most. This six-year-old has won three of his nine starts over fences and comes into the race on the back of a career-best performance.

That came in an eight-runner class 3 handicap at Ayr where he beat Silver Tassie by 2 3/4 lengths off a mark of 133. After racing in touch in the hands of a confident Richie McLernon, the JP McManus owned son of Flemensfirth took up the running travelling strongly three from home.

Kimberlite Candy was then challenged by the eventually runner-up two from home, but found plenty when asked and stayed on strongly to win with a fair bit in hand. It was a most taking performance and one which suggested there were bigger pots to be won with him.

Given the authority with which Kimberlite Candy got the job done, a 5lb rise could well prove to be on the lenient side. He has always been held in the highest regard and the current soft ground at the Merseyside venue at the time of writing will be right up his street.

Kimberlite Candy has now won his last two starts and is clearly going the right way. He is a strong travelling sort and a bold jumper, which are the ideal attributes for this test. So, with McLernon – one of the best horseman in the business – once again in the saddle, a bold bid to land the hat-trick looks assured despite him taking a step-up in class.

Testify looks a tasty each-way option

Testify is unbeaten in two runs at the track, so looks decent each-way value now eased in grade. The Trevor Hemmings owned seven-year-old, who hails from the local yard of Donald McCain, won his first three starts over fences last season in the manner of a smart prospect.

In the last of those over 2m 4f here in the Grade 2 Altcar Novices’ Chase, Testify raced prominently throughout before being ridden clear after the second last. He then stayed on dourly on bottomless ground to readily beat Lake View Lad by seven lengths off an official rating of 139.

Testify was allotted an opening mark of 145 on the back of that victory, and was not totally disgraced off it when 11th of 19 to Mister Whitaker in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when sent off a well-backed 11/1 shot.

He then bombed out when pulled-up in a Grade 1 at Aintree, and shaped as if badly needing the run on return to action at Listed level when a well-beaten sixth of 12 to Lake View Lad in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle over roughly this trip.

Testify is entitled to come on a bundle for that spin and the assessor has been quick to drop him 3lb. That means that he’s now able to race off a rating of 141 in this lower grade affair and it makes him look nicely weighted on the pick of his form. The return to this venue is also an obvious plus so that’s why Testify features as the each-way punt and thus completes our 2018 Tommy Whittle Chase betting tips.

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