For my first selection today we head to Wincanton for a hands and heels handicap hurdle for novices.
Heading the betting here is the Andy Turnell trained three year old Aristocracy who gets all the allowances here. While the gelding is the standout horse in the race, he is only a three year old and it is difficult to assess his ability. While he has a win on soft ground on the flat, this will be his first time jumping a hurdle on this ground. So far his jumping has been adequate and I think it could be put to the test here against a few slightly more experienced rivals. With those concerns in mind I would be prepared to look towards one of the others, but he still should have a say in the finish.
The one that gets my vote here is Fuse Wire who reverts back to hurdles after four chase starts. Still a maiden after fifteen starts but did come close to breaking his duck last time out only for a poor jump at the last. A mark of 87 looks very workable as I think he could have upwards of twenty pounds in hand on a few pieces of form. As long as a sound round of jumping is put in, he is sure to play a part in the finish here.
Of the remainder Nebula Storm appeals most with the first time blinkered Brogeen Boy also of interest.
Fuse Wire (WIN)
13:00 Market Rasen
We head to Market Rasen for our second selection but this time over the larger obstacles.
The one that appeals most here is the market leader Viva Steve trained by Mick Channon. Like a lot of horses from this yard a fence does seem to improve them and his opening chase start was decent enough. With that experience under his belt I think we will see an improved performance today and a mark of 119 looks lenient. As long as the son of Flemensfirth puts in a clear round he is sure to have a say in the finish.
The biggest danger to the selection comes in the shape of the Jonjo O Neill trained Catching On. The son of Milan makes his chasing debut today but does have a point to point win to his name. On the evidence of that point to point win he could be very well treated as he had a now 130 rated rival well behind in third that day. This is the geldings seasonal return today and he just may be in need of the run but is capable of taking this if fit enough.
I think the winner will come from one of the two mentioned but any money for the ex-Gigginstown owned Benevolent, would make him of interest.
Viva Steve (WIN)
For my final selection we head back to Wincanton for what looks a competitive handicap hurdle.
Heading the betting here is the Paul Nicholls trained four year old The Brock Again who only has his second UK start. Coming from these quarters you would expect him to be a great deal better than his current mark of 127 and his opening UK start would suggest that there is probably more to come. This is a tight enough race though and there may be better value in backing one of the others each way.
The one that appeals here at an each way price is the Johhny Farrelly trained Sporting Boy who should be stripping much fitter for his seasonal outing. A mark of 122 looks lenient enough as there is enough evidence from a few of his runs to suggest a mark in the mid 130’s could be well within his range. A slight concern here is the ground but the jury is still out on whether he needs good ground to be seen at his best. This probably has been factored in to the price but if he acts on it, the son of Barathea could run in to a place at worst at a decent price.
Of the remainder Voix D’Eau appeals most although the strength of his French form is a small bit suspect.
Sporting Boy (E/W)