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Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams likes a quartet at double-figure prices at Ludlow

“The way that Now Then Wendy travelled for a long way against good quality opposition on debut was taking and this race looks quite a bit weaker.”

Jumped badly over fences last time

Ludlow 12:15: Morgenstern 0.5pt win w/o the favourite 25/1

Green Book is odds-on favourite for this opening lady amateur riders handicap hurdle as he attempts to follow up his Haydock win and avoids a penalty as that was a conditionals race. Rather than take him on, I think there are a couple of appealing options in the without the favourite market.

Morgenstern is one of many horses that have been claimed from France to join David Pipe this year and he made a fairly encouraging start to his time with the yard at Chepstow when finishing fourth.

He didn’t build on that in terms of the result at Doncaster last time but I thought he showed more ability that day in managing to finish sixth despite losing plenty of ground with bad jumping. Having initially set off in front, he lost ground at the first three fences and dropped towards the back of the field. He was sent back into a prominent position early in the back straight but lost his position again with a slow jump at the ditch and was losing his place further when making a bad mistake at 3 out. However, he didn’t completely drop away after that and rallied late on to finish sixth.

He looked in need of a stiffer test of stamina on a few occasions in France and the way he ran on late rather than dropping away after the mistake at Doncaster again suggested that is the case so the step up to 2m5 1/2 f today may bring improvement. Given how much ground he lost with his jumping at Doncaster, the return to hurdles should also help although even his jumping of hurdles in France wasn’t always great.

It may be that he’s not straightforward but I think he’s capable of better than he’s shown so far in Britain and any 16/1 or bigger in the without the favourite market appeals.

Strong traveller who shaped well last time

Ludlow 12:15: Henryville 0.5pt win w/o the favourite 25/1

The other horse who appeals at a big price in this market is Henryville, who has spent most of his time racing in France since joining Sophie Leech.

While he hasn’t looked quite so good this season, he has shown at times that he still retains ability and I thought he did the same at Sandown last time on his first start in Britain since August last year.

Dropped out in a detached last at the start, he soon raced enthusiastically to join the main group. He continued to travel strongly and nearly jumped into a share of the lead at the third down the back on the final circuit. He was still going well when badly hampered at the middle of the railway fences and he could never get back into contention after that, eventually finishing 29 lengths behind the winner in fourth.

The way Henryville travelled for a long way was encouraging and he races off a 3lb lower mark today. He’s never been the easiest ride and he will likely be dropped out again but I think he might be capable of picking up the pieces if others get drawn into making their efforts too soon and any 16/1 or bigger appeals in the without the favourite market.

Promising debut in Listed company

Ludlow 15:15: Now Then Wendy 1pt win 16/1

The top of the market for the bumper is dominated by newcomers and ex-Irish pointers, even though it’s difficult to make a particularly strong case for either of those pointers based on their achievements so far.

Nifty Getaway may have won last time when coming down at the last but she was only just in front and the subsequent achievements of the winner and runner up under rules suggest she didn’t run to a particularly high level that day. Tintern Abbey made her debut in a point to point bumper at Punchestown and showed some ability before finishing second at Oldcastle. She may have won that day if she didn’t make a mistake at the last but she had been allowed to control a slow pace so may be flattered by the bare result. It’s possible that both could improve but it’s difficult to suggest that the current market is underestimating either of them.

There are a couple at much bigger prices whose chances I think have been overlooked. Now Then Wendy made her debut in a Listed bumper at Market Rasen earlier this month. Held up for much of the race, she was still travelling strongly at the back of a tightly-packed field just before turning the final bend. She was bumped and had to be steadied on the bend but still appeared to be going well once turning in. Angled towards the inside, she was shaken along and ran green, not picking up as well as it seemed like she might after travelling so well and she came home in eighth.

The way that Now Then Wendy travelled for a long way against good quality opposition on debut was taking and this race looks quite a bit weaker. It might turn out that she’s just a smooth traveller who doesn’t find much but she looks overpriced based on that performance and any 12/1 or bigger appeals.

Much better for a wind op and tongue tie last time

Ludlow 15:15: Dee Eire 0.5pt win 70/1

Dee Eire showed absolutely nothing on debut at Catterick last season but following a wind op and with a tongue tie applied for the first time, she stepped up considerably on that back at the same track last month.

She raced towards the back of the chasing pack behind the breakaway leading pair and was still going well turning the final bend but was trapped on the inside. She was switched a few times early in the home straight to try to get a clear run and ran on strongly late on without ever challenging the leaders to finish fifth.

This was a big step up from her debut and Dee Eire’s performance can be marked up as she wasn’t well positioned given the pace and didn’t get a clear run on a few occasions. The winner won over hurdles two days ago while the sixth has since run well in a bumper at the same track.

I think she achieved as much that day as quite a few of her shorter priced rivals in this race and there’s the potential for more improvement. Any 40/1 or bigger appeals.

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