2nd December 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
We’re down at Sandown for tomorrow afternoon’s target race – the London National Handicap Chase (3.30)….
A field of 13 runners heads to post on ground described this afternoon as good (good to soft in places).
It’s set to be a serious test of stamina. They’ll be slugging it out over the 29-furlong trip and 24 obstacles. Any fitness issues are likely to be exposed.
Quite a few turn up having already put some reasonable form in the book this term. The market has found the majority of them. Course specialist Loose Chips is the only last-time-out winner in the field. But several others hit the frame. It promises to be competitive.
Emma Lavelle has a decent record in this race – with two winners and a place from her last 4 runners. Court By Surprise was 2nd in the race for her back in 2013 off a mark of 130. He gets to run off the same mark tomorrow, but he’s 3-years-older now and it’s a couple of years since he produced his best form.
Neil Mulholland’s Doing Fine heads the market. Fair enough. He’s dropped a few pounds in the weights over the last 12 months and produced a decent-enough trial at Sedgefield on his seasonal return. His yard is going well too. But at 4s he’s no kind of bet for this column – where the emphasis is on finding a bit of value.
We’ll get to my selection in a moment. First a word on the big races I’m targeting and the horses I’m betting in the big handicaps at Aintree tomorrow afternoon….
Bets over the National fences at Aintree….
Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon….
If you’re looking for a couple more bets for tomorrow afternoon you can access those picks free of charge right now by taking a FREE test-drive of my Against the Crowd service….
Brian Ellison’s FIVE IN A ROW is my idea of the pick of the prices at 9s in tomorrow’s London National Handicap Chase (Sandown, 3.30)….
He’s only raced six times over fences and he advertised his potential at Haydock back in March when beaten by the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Ballybolley (now rated 135).
He was giving the winner weight that day over a trip always likely to be short of his optimum – and it was a decent effort given those circumstances.
He made his seasonal reappearance at the end of October – stepping up more than a mile in trip and he showed more than enough to suggest he’s going to continue his upward progression now that he’s running over a trip that plays to his stamina.
He travelled strongly that afternoon, jumped well and saw the race out well. There’s no doubt he gets tomorrow’s trip.
Okay, he was beaten 7 lengths. But he was giving enough weight to a winner who’d already blown the cobwebs away with a previous seasonal run. With that effort serving to sharpen his edge, the 8yo should be bang on for tomorrow afternoon’s assignment.
Brian Ellison has been going well the last few weeks – with 7 winners from 21 runners – and he’s gone to the trouble of booking Adrian Heskin for the ride. Heskin is riding with confidence right now – having been riding plenty of winners since starting work for Tom George. I take his booking as a positive.
9s is not the biggest price in the world. But this isn’t a sprint handicap and it doesn’t pay to reach for prices in the same way over fences. It’s an acceptable price about a progressive horse whose last effort suggested that he’ll be ready to produce a new ‘top’ tomorrow.
It’s not a big enough price for me to back each-way. I’ll be going in win only. But if you want to play for the place, don’t let me put you off. It’s your call.
The ATC Extra bet recap….
Remember, 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….
Note: Standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3. That’s not a big enough price for me to back each-way. I’ll be going in win only. But if you want to play for the place, don’t let me put you off. It’s your call.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.