It’s a tricky day for punters across the board. Kempton sees the return of the useful Harlow on the flat while Wincanton has an interesting card – one that Paul Nicholls likes to target each season – and that’s where we head for our race of the day feature. We also discuss the handicap weights revealed yesterday in our Final Word section.
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
13:00 Lingfield – Broughtons Compass 14/1 into 11/1
14:10 Lingfield – Micks Spirit 11/4 into 15/8
20:30 Kempton – Al Gaiya 18/1 into 14/1
The morning market drifters !
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
13:00 Lingfield – Harbor Project 11/4 OUT 10/3
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
You won’t see many lower graded races than Lingfield’s 13:00 Classified Stakes 0-50 contest. Jockey Rhys Clutterbuck won this race last year and partners with Gary Moore on Broughtons Compass 15.014/1. The pair are profitable to back to GBP40 for a GBP1 level stake on the all-weather, although this could be a lottery race.
At Musselburgh, trainer Laura Morgan has three odds-on favourites and could replicate her winning form at this track at the last meeting. She runs Loughderg Rocco 4/9 in the 13:45, Clear The Runway 8/11, in the 14:20, and Champ Is Real 4/11 15:30.
The Morgan treble pays 3.412/5
In the 16:05 at Musselburgh, trainer Sandy Thomson has a 21% strike rate over hurdles at this venue and today saddles Saryshagann 5.04/1.
At Wincanton, trainer Paul Nicholls has won the opening 13:55 the last two seasons and saddles Kayf Taoi 2.915/8.
At Kempton, trainers Harry and Roger Charlton have a 33% strike rate with their three-year-olds and today saddle newcomer Noya 4.03/1 in the 18:00.
Jockey David Probert has an 18% strike rate when riding Andrew Balding three-year-olds on the all-weather. Today they partner with Harrow 2.47/5 in the 19:00 at Kempton.
The return to Kempton could see Tintoretto 3.7511/4 get back in the winner’s enclosure at 19:30. He has scored here twice, and the cheek-pieces go back on off of this workable handicap mark.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
14:10 Lingfield – Doc Sportello – Has won off 79 runs off 65
14:20 Musselburgh – Monsieur Co – Has won off 118 runs off 101
15:20 Lingfield – Power On – Has won off 67 runs off 52
16:05 Musselburgh – Beeno – Has won off 125 runs off 113
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.Trainer Laura Morgan has been operating at a 40% strike rate in the last 14 days. Jockey Adam Wedge has been riding at a 25% strike rate in the last 14 days. Today they could be a partnership to follow at Musselburgh.Furthest traveller
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Oliver Signy with his runner Sambezi 10.09/1 in the 16:05 at Musselburgh. The trainer has made the 370-mile journey with his runner and has booked Gavin Sheehan, who has ridden three of his seven jumps trained winners. This is also the trainer’s first runner at Musselburgh.
Race of the day
We head to Wincanton for their 14:30 Handicap Chase, where a small field of five head to post in a competitive 2m4f affair.
Flagrant Delitiep heads the market after two excellent runs over course and distance the last twice, finding one too good on both occasions. He did well on the front end of a sharp pace last time when pestered for the lead and lacked the finishing kick to live with a fellow course lover.
He has been remarkably consistent, but in doing so, it probably has been his downfall as he is now six pounds above his last winning handicap mark, but if he is going to go in, it will be here with form figures reading 222124 over fences.
The concern is that he again may find one or two better handicapped taking on less exposed rivals in what looks a deeper contest than his last two.
Ubetya made a promising start for Paul Nicholls at Plumpton on the back of a 422 day layoff when finishing second to an in form and progressive rival. His form over fences looks strong in the contest of this race, and it would be no surprise to see him take a step forward.
The concern has to be the bounce factor with this coming just 16 days later. The handicapper has left him on the same mark, so he will need to take a step forward.
He comes with risks attached, but it’s easy to see why he would be appealing to some. He might just be best watched.
Valleres has been slightly disappointing when beaten at short odds in two of his three starts this season, but it was a step back in the right direction against some useful rivals at Newbury last time.
The drop back in trip looks a good move, and he has been freshened up with a 63 daybreak.
The cheek-pieces remain on, and today’s soft ground and a well-run race over this trip could suit him. He is off of a workable handicap mark on the balance of his form, and it would be highly disappointing should he not play a hand in proceedings today.
Big race verdict
It’s a tricky race for punters, but it may pay to side with Alan King’s Valleres, who has had few opportunities over fences and may have a race run to suit. He is not one to give up on based on his hurdling form, and a mark of 128 is well within reach on that evidence. He brings some solid chase form to the table and has little questions to answer in these calmer waters.
Timeform offer up three of their best
Timeform’s Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each Way selection at Kempton on Wednesday.
Cheltenham Roarcast Episode 7
Episode 7 is out today. Be sure to check out the latest Cheltenham Roarcast where the Triumph Hurdle, Champion Bumper, Foxhunters and Cross Country Chase were all given a once over.
Final Word – That Gordo comment
The Cheltenham handicap weights were revealed yesterday, and one thing really got me wound up. Nick Luck quite rightly asked Gordon Elliott who he felt was his best-handicapped horse was, and he said that all of his had gone up around six pounds while Death Duty was dropped one pound, so it must be him.A comment any trainer would say about any horse in the world if the handicapper reacted the way he did about Gordon’s crop. It’s bloody obvious that he would mention the only horse dropped in the weights rather than risen. In turn, this doesn’t mean he thinks he is the best-handicapped horse going to Cheltenham; it’s just the blinding obvious thing to mention when asked on the spot as he was.Still, some racing outlets decided to run with this as a “story” with headlines such as “Gordon’s best-handicapped horse at the Cheltenham Festival” and “This is my best-handicapped horse” – Gordon says.
This is no more than nonsense to lure punters in to have a bet on this so-called best-handicapped horse which was no more than an on the spot flippant comment in front of judge, jury and executioner.
Never mind the gambling commission attempting to hit responsible punters. They ought to be looking at click-bait headlines that mislead punters.Anyway, it was exciting to see all the weights revealed. A handicap mark of 156 for Sire Du Berlais looks very, very generous, as does State Man’s 141. The Irish have been hit with an average of a six pounds rise, but that’s unlikely enough to stop them running riot.Until tomorrow, be lucky.Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7
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