Midweeks Racing has taken a hit already with Ayr being abandoned early. Exeter and Worcester present 2 jumps meets, but with the former offering good to firm ground, the latter requires more attention. I’ll be on course keeping a close eye on all selections.
An interesting novice chase for mares kicks off the card. A small 5 runner affair could be tricky to navigate if it wasn’t for the entry of Paul Nichols trained IF YOU SAY RUN. The mare rounded out last season pulling up at the Cheltenham festival behind Early Doors in the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle.
She rubbed shoulders with group 2 and listed company last season. The best form on offer for the quirky mare who seems to much prefer a left handed track. A rating of 140 marks her a massive 10lbs above next best on paper Dullhallow Gesture for A J Honeyball. Although the previous point winner brings shallow form over fences it’s easier to side with the favourite on form over the smaller obstacles.
Although If You Say Run hasn’t won over 2m4f specifically she has over an extended 21 furlongs. A bit of ease in the ground shouldn’t bother her too much and she should quite simply outclass this small runner field.
Included is already 0-5 over fences so quite easy to put a line through and Love Lane has already taken a beating from the second favourite over hurdles and she finds herself sliding quite dramatically in odds already.
A unique running order at Worcester has their bumper bang in the middle of the card rather than at the end. Most notable runner here is already shortening favourite SINGAPORE SAGA. A tidy bumper at Cheltenham back in April has read as good form. 3rd and 4th that day won yesterday across the 2 jumps meeting. Urban Artist winning a bumper and Yeavering Belle winning a novice hurdle. The selection finishing an eye catching 6th.
The form is stacking quite nicely and it was a class 2 contest that day. Dropping back into shallow waters and a more forgiving track should bring this one even closer.
Dickie Johnson is also an attractive jockey booking in what looks a weak looking bumper. Waitonit is an interesting runner yet no form under rules makes him harder to back. Although going close before falling in a point to point he’s been picked up by a top national hunt yard. The Twiston-Davies duo have a good strike rate between them in bumpers and in general at Worcester but a lack of form is enough to make others more appealing. Other interesting entrant is Just For Fee who finished 3rd place in a course and distance effort last month. With these kind of races proven form is the one to stick your pin in, Singapore Saga bringing the best form to the table.
A tricky handicap over 2 and a half miles. The bottom 9 in the betting I have immediately struck lines through as being not up to the task. I narrowed the field into 3 strong candidates, North Star Oscar, G’Day Aussie and DO YOU KNOW WHAT.
The latter being the main choice with a convincing course and distance win recently. Only 3lbs higher than that win the Skelton charge looks the one to beat and that will be no mean feat. Dropping to class 4 company and going up in distance brought the best out of the Skelton Brothers’ inmate and he duly won by a length.
The brother’s have a good strike rate here and know how to get one right for these handicaps. The eek improvement out of their runners all season so it would be no surprise to see this one go in again.
Other close choices North Star Oscar looks interesting too but a win at 2 mile 7 furlongs raises the question as to whether he’ll have the tactical speed for this shorter trip. G’Day Aussie also appeals with form over 2 mile and 2 furlongs. Also quite competitively weighted the Dave Roberts runner is getting 2lbs from the favourite. His form might suggest that this trip could be a slightly too long. His wins have come over extended 2 miles.
A short price for a big field handicap I’ll still stick on Dan Skelton’s race planning masterclass to notch up another winner.
The card rounds out with a novice hurdle over 2 miles. Paul Nichols has sent a few fancies to this meeting and he finishes the day with a really strong looking fancy in CAT TIGER.
Some really strong form in France makes this recruit look very interesting on English debut. A group 3 win in France makes this runner a real classy looking entrant. 3 wins in Auteil have come over 17.5 furlongs and 22 furlongs. He looks quite versatile in terms of trip and has won on soft and heavy. The ground only has a little bit of juice in it today but it shouldn’t be a bother for a good looking prospect.
Returning to hurdles shouldn’t be a bother and the champion trainer knows how to get ones ready for a strong winter campaign. Although nearly a year off the track to overcome his class should overcome any cobwebs that need blowing away here.
2 main competitors are coming from bumpers so haven’t been seen to jump an obstacle in public. Olly The Brave and Old Jeroboam have interlocking form with the latter beating the former back in April. Experience and a winning mentality should be enough to carry an exciting prospect through his English debut.