Conditions are likely to be brutal at Wincanton and latching yourself onto horses that relish a mud-fest slog looks the way to approach the card.
We have adhered to those sentiments when researching the action down in Somerset and are recommending two selections, who both should run better than their current odds suggest in heavy ground.
Best bet of the day is Samstown, who can be backed at 9/2 in the Higos Insurance Services Somerset National Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old is very lightly raced and doesn’t automatically look the strapping type to win around three miles plus at Wincanton but has shown sufficient potential in his races to suggest he may just be the type to excel when tasked with a marathon trip of this sort.
Alistair Whillans’ charge won doing handstands at Market Rasen just before Christmas, producing a strong staying performance on his first attempt at three miles or more.
Although he was getting plenty of weight from the others, he jumped soundly and saw out the longer trip well to land his first race over fences.
I’m sure Whillans regrets turning the horse out so quickly after that stamina sapping run at Haydock just two weeks later as the horse never jumped with the same fluency but did once again show his liking for a battle when staying on soundly into fourth.
That late charge showed he’s still on a workable mark and if he can attack his fences with more relish this time around, he should be playing a big part in the finish.
We like his chances and are recommending a two point win stake.
Although smaller stakes are advised on Poet, who runs in the Higos Insurance Services Langport Handicap Hurdle, the odds of 6/1 could potentially make it a very worthwhile selection.
It’s very surprising to see that Clive Cox former flat racing star, who once finished second behind Workforce in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes and was rated 115 in that code, has yet to make his mark over hurdles but today everything looks in his favour.
On the flat Poet was a real mud lark and the way he run on good ground at Kempton on his season return (went off a very well backed favourite) suggested that he’s likely to relish a soft surface over hurdles too.
He never travelled a yard at Kempton but off a mark of 124, on more suitable ground, Poet should go close. Get on with a one point win stake.
Profit and Loss Record Staked: 175pts Returned: 211.26pts P/L: +36.26pts
(Cheltenham ante post book: 2pts West Wizard in Supreme Novices Hurdle 8/1 & 1pts EW Harry Topper in Gold Cup 50/1 & 2pts EW Corrin Wood in RSA Chase 16/1)
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