26th February 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
Welcome to the first edition of ATC Extra – the new name for what was previously known as Juicy Plums….
The modus operandi is exactly the same. Nothing has changed but the name.
Every weekend we will continue to target big-prices in the valuable big-field handicaps – over the jumps and on the flat.
And we will continue to distribute our value selections completely free of charge – just as we have always done….
Philip Hobbs has been the big player in the most valuable handicaps run over the jumps this term. His 40 runners in qualifying events worth £20k or more to winning connections have produced 9 winners and 11 additional placed finishers. In other words, his participants in such events have made the frame 50% of the time.
That stat alone forces the eye down tomorrow’s entries and onto WOODFORD COUNTY priced up at a best price of 14s. But there’s a bit more to his case than that.
He produced a decent win at Exeter at the start of December before going well at Chepstow in the rescheduled Welsh Grand National where he finished 5th. He’s in good heart and arrives at Newcastle tomorrow on a mark of 131 – just 2lbs higher than when finishing 3rd in last season’s edition of the race.
He finished tired that day and may have been disadvantaged by chasing the leaders. The two that finished in front of him came from much further back in the field under more patient rides.
A change in tactics this term might well see Woodford County improve on last season’s placing. He came from mid-division at Exeter and again at Chepstow and a similar ride tomorrow from regular partner, Ciaran Gethings, could well enable him to get home better this time than he did last time.
The other one I like at an each-way price is the Nicky Richards-trained and lightly-raced CULTRAM ABBEY at 16s.
He’s stepping up markedly in trip but it could very well suit and improve him beyond anything he’s shown in his 4 chase efforts to date.
He certainly wasn’t stopping at Ayr over 3 miles at the turn of the year. He was motoring at the end of that race – albeit he didn’t quite mange to get in front of the much more experienced and lightly-weighted Presented who reopposes tomorrow.
But it was an instructive effort nevertheless and there’s no reason at this stage to think that going a mile further won’t eek out an even better performance.
He made a few mistakes with his jumping at Ayr. They appeared to have been ironed out last time at Wetherby where he was sent out over an inadequate 20 furlongs to sharpen him up.
As it transpired on the day the heavy ground played to his stamina and, despite looking highly unlikely to score most of the way round, he was able to dig away up the straight and get the victory.
There is more to come from this 9yo and the extended trip tomorrow could be the variable to bring it out.
How I’ll be playing….
We don’t have to be betting in hundreds to make the game worthwhile or fun. A spend of a few quid is plenty to be going on with. I’ll be investing as follows:
Note: The standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. Both horses trade at decent each-way prices. If that’s the way you like to play, don’t let me put you off.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.
Until next time, be lucky.