12:45 Huntingdon We open today’s proceedings with not just the first race from Huntingdon but the first bit of action from anywhere in the UK and Ireland. It’s hardly the best standard of action with a Class 5 Claiming Hurdle but it seems pretty competitive all the same. There’s two horses that currently seem to be fighting it out to be the market leader, the David Dennis trained Hawdyerwheesht and Brian Ellison’s It’s A Mans World. The seven year old Hawdyerwheesht returns to a lower level after being the proverbial bridesmaid and finishing in the top three, without winning, in its last six starts. The last time the horse found itself in a race this low it won but the stable aren’t in the best of form and the fact it seems to run races that it should win but doesn’t is somewhat disconcerting. It’s A Mans World might be the older of the two betting principles but it has had less runs over hurdles. It’s been sparingly tried this summer and should come on for its sixth placed finish last time out. The young jockey is in good form and the trainer certainly knows what he’s doing with horses over obstacles as well as on the level. The nine year old finished sixth of eleven in a Class 1 hurdle back in February so clearly connections thought the horse had some potential. A drop in class coupled with a top trainer and promising young jockey makes this one the one to beat. Of the remaining runners I think it’d be interesting to see if there’s any market support for the Ryan While ridden Edlomond who’s form in this sphere reads well. If it can come back fit from a long lay off could do better than expected. It’s A Mans World (WIN)

14:35 Carlisle From one jumps meeting to another we head up to Carlisle to take in not just one but two selections from this card. The fourth race on the card looks drastically open with just a point splitting the odds of the top four in the betting. The current and very slight favourite is the Venetia Williams trained Ballyoliver who won this contest last year. A drop in the weights and drop in class is an obvious plus but the ground isn’t as soft as it would prefer and the fact it hasn’t won a race since this contest 364 days ago is pretty off putting. Of the four main protagonists the one I fear as the biggest danger is Sue Smith’s Vintage Star who has been racing in much better races than this. It hasn’t won since 2013 but that was at this course. As with Ballyoliver it’s likely to need softer ground but in a race at this level it could certainly go close. My selection comes in the form of the lightly raced Feegal O’Brien runner Son Of Suzie. Two decent performances at Carlisle shows it will handle the course and today’s good ground should suit. It’s definitely a risk as the horse still remains a maiden over chases but the chance is taken none the less. Son Of Suzie (E/W)

15:10 Carlisle Today’s third and final pick comes in the following race at Carlisle, a handicap hurdle over two and a half miles. My selection isn’t the most obvious but Shotavodka has been tried in a better grade than this in some big Class 1 handicaps. Despite the fact it’s nine years old it’s only had twelve hurdles starts but it’s won three and placed in three so is clearly no slouch. Hailing from the top yard of David Pipe and with an additional three pounds claimed off its back thanks to promising amateur Kieron Edgar it could do a lot better than its double figured price suggests. The race has a clear short priced favourite in Out Sam but as chasing seems to be its main focus this season I see this as potentially just a run for fitness and it may be given a softer race. Both L’Aigle Royal and Mustmeetalady are likely improvers for big trainers and are the horses that look like the most likely threats. Shotavodka (E/W)

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