16th December 2016
Good afternoon, friends,
In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….
Our target race this weekend is the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase up at Haydock (2.40)….
It’s a class 2 event contested over 2 miles and 7 furlongs. A field of 16 runners goes to post on ground described as soft.
I can see why Corrin Wood is favourite. The switch to Dan Skelton’s yard appears to have rejuvenated the horse. Two runs over hurdles have been full of promise. And now, back over fences, the 9yo gets the opportunity to capitalize on a chase mark that has dropped to 128 from a high of 156.
Connections report that Skelton has got the horse back and confidence is high. Earlier in the season, the Midlands Grand National was highlighted as the target after two hurdle runs. Instead, he’s turned up here.
Perhaps they want to strike while the iron is hot. Maybe they want to give the horse a competitive race over fences. It is 2 years since he ran up to his mark over the bigger obstacles and 5 of his next 6 efforts – albeit in the care of Donald McCain – saw him pull-up. He might need the practice in a competitive race….
Either way he’s short enough for my tastes at 6s….
Trickaway is the one last-time-out winner in tomorrow’s field. He’s gone up 4lb for a win in a modest race at Kelso and steps back up to this longer trip tomorrow.
I have to question the strength of that small-field Kelso form though. Only one of the other six runners ever got into it, Trickaway’s jumping was patchy, the time was slow and he idled on the run-in. I wonder how much more he will find for pressure….
I’m going two-against-the field. We’ll get to my selections in a moment. First a quick word on the races I’m targeting down at Ascot tomorrow….
Picks for the two big handicaps at Ascot….
Over on my paid Against the Crowd service this afternoon I’m targeting bets at value prices in the two big handicap events taking place at Ascot tomorrow 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….
YALA ENKI heads the weights on what will his first race over fences since arriving at Venetia Williams’s yard from France back in the spring of 2015.
The horse does have experience of the bigger obstacles – running over them 8 times as a juvenile in France. But he represents something of an unknown quantity.
The handicapper has played it safe – starting the horse off on a chase mark of 139 (the same assessment the horse has over hurdles).
You’d have to think this year’s 3rd-place horse in the Fixed Brush Hurdle (also at Haydock) will eventually make up into a better chaser than hurdler and, on that basis, first-time-up over British fences might be exactly the right time to catch the horse. His starting mark could well look lenient in hindsight….
Williams has placed him well. Not too many of tomorrow’s opponents have been setting the track on fire this term, Charlie Deutsch takes over a valuable 5lbs, the ground is suitable and the horse has gone well at the track in two editions of the Fixed Brush Hurdle. The general 8s is fair enough – and I’ll be betting the horse win only….
I also think Philip Kirby’s COURTOWN OSCAR is worth each-way support at the 16s with William Hill.
Connections have been patient with the 7yo – not wanting to overface him. But he’s well-thought-of and he’s expected to step above and beyond what he’s produced over fences to date.
He was chucked into the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last term. That didn’t pan out. But big pots are clearly on the radar. Connections have another crack at earning some decent corn tomorrow and the horse should be somewhere close to spot-on for the assignment having had a spin over hurdles at the track last month.
A mark of 128 simply has to underplay this horse’s potential and tomorrow, on preferred soft ground, is the day to take advantage at the prices.
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 ¼ 1-2-3-4. At the prices, I’ll be betting Yala Enki win only and I’ll be backing Courtown Oscar each-way. Don’t let me put you off going your own way.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.