Not long to wait for Al to hit back
It’s no surprise Lucinda Russell appears in the column again as she has supplied two winners for us this week, so I am looking forward to seeing her bumper runner as my final selection, especially after a disappointing day yesterday. A few made the shortlist today, and one at a big price in Not Long Now who runs at Southwell caught the eye, likewise La Fille Francaise, but there’ll be other days with those two and they are big prices.
My number one pick is Just Call Me Al, who has been in such good form over hurdles of late that he is worth backing on a return to chasing, although there are risks attached as he hasn’t looked the same horse over timber. However, the 12:30 doesn’t look a particularly strong race and I am hoping he can open his account fencing.
He was a winner last time out and pulled off something near a personal best in beating Demi Sang over Sedgefield’s 2m4f on good ground. While the pace wasn’t overly strong, he travelled nicely to win from a mark of 107. He seems to go well at Sedgefield as he landed a 5L victory there back in September.
The 8yo is usually played late and held up in his races, but he’ll have a pace to run at if the favourite Rollerruler adopts the same front-running tactics that were successful last time. Today’s race is over 2m and he has enough pace to drop back down.
Ground conditions should be suitable as he has won on good and good to soft, and he should take advantage of a reduced mark in this sphere.
Just don’t mention the song “You Can Call Me Al”, that haunted me in my youth!
It’s been a good week with Lucinda’s runners
I do like my bumpers, and I am looking forward to taking on the market leader All The Glory in the final mares’ race at Carlisle.
Her trainer Lucinda Russell has two entered, although Pasture Beach is a lot shorter in the betting 5.04/1 than It’s A Midnight 21.020/1. The latter has a nice long-term jumps’ pedigree, but Pasture Beach’s dam has produced three horses to date – and all have won.
Mr Glass is the smartest and he’s doing well these days over hurdles and won two out of three bumpers and was very smart in that sphere. Sunrise Ruby is her sister, and she won a bumper on her debut for Nicky Henderson on decent ground, so there is potential that she could be an early type.
Young Edinburgh native Conner McCann guided home our selection Diamond Strait in the week for Russell and the 10lb claimer has only had two rides for his boss and they’ve finished first and second. His runner-up effort was on Russell’s Our Marty – who looked a strong stayer running into a place at Musselburgh recently.
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