Sugar coat your weekend with Icing

Steve Hughes has two picks over fences on Friday

Plenty of jumping options on Friday with the weather having relented. I have chosen handicap chases at Sandown and Leicester for today’s bets. Two Smokin Barrels came home in front for us yesterday (advised 6/1).

Leicester 2.40: Icing on the Cake

The best contest on Leicester’s card can go to Icing on the Cake.

Lightly raced, 2m4f seems to be his optimum trip and he made a promising reappearance over that trip at Newbury’s big meeting in December when fifth to Oldgrangewood. I am quite happy to forgive his last run at Ascot as 3m was too far, the race was too competitive (he was running out of the handicap) and he was essentially only in the race as his owner was sponsoring races on that day.

He is far better judged on his third place over his favoured trip at Newbury last spring and with trainer Oliver Sherwood in better form I think the 8yo has been found a suitable opportunity.

Sandown 4.10: Big Jim

There may only be three runners, but this looks a fascinating contest nonetheless with all three horses holding sound claims. I like the current outsider though in Big Jim.

Well named – he is just about the tallest horse in training, he made all to win at Warwick in January, proving he retains all his old ability. He found the strong pace too hot when racing over today’s course and distance last time out – he was always struggling after nodding badly at the first fence, but things should be a little less hectic in this small field.

With Darebin out of form of late and Tara Bridge perhaps flattered by winning two weakish contests, Big Jim can put a rare off day behind him.

Recommended bets:

1.5pts win – Icing on the Cake – 2.40 Leicester – 4/1 Ladbrokes

1pt win – Big Jim – 4.10 Sandown – 100/30 BetVictor

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