The pick of the prices at Wincanton....

Friday, 8th November 2019

The pick of the prices at Wincanton….

This week’s target race is the Badger Beers Silver Trophy at Wincanton (3.35) – a 3m1f handicap chase for horses rated up to 155....

A field of 14 is set to go to post. The ground is described as good – but there are some showers forecast (some heavy) ahead of the off....

More on that race and my selections shortly….

First, something for the Watch List….

  • One for the Watch List....

Vinndication took the headlines in the Sodexo Gold Cup last Saturday – and rightly so....

Nicky Henderson’s On The Blind Side did his reputation no harm at all with a 4th-place finish that should bring him on towards full fitness for a tilt at the Ladbrokes Trophy or some other pre-Christmas target....

But another lightly-raced type who should come on for Saturday’s race and who might be flying under the radar is Harry Fry’s Acting Lass – and that’s the one I’ll be adding to the Watch List....

On the face of it, finishing 9th of 16 runners and getting beaten 27-lengths is not a particularly glowing statement of readiness to win – but there’s more to it than that....

Saturday’s race was only the 8yo’s second run since February 2018 and his first since the spring. He’s had his problems, but I thought he ran an encouraging race under a first-time ride from Sean Bowen....

  • An encouraging return....

He was out the back early doors. And my impression was that he was being given his own time in which to readjust and reacclimatise to competitive racing....

His jumping was a little indifferent and out to his left but he was travelling comfortably enough and Bowen coaxed him up the inside in the mid stages to take more of a part in the race proper....

He was making a forward move in the third quarter of the race when some of the others were already starting to flag, and for a moment or two at least, it looked like he was coming to play a part in the finish....

Ultimately, he didn’t. He faded out of it. But he was entitled to. He hasn’t had much racing.  And this contest was always more likely to be a sighter than a hard target....

But the time for hard targeting will come and the horse (who has only had six goes in total over fences) will be fitter and more prepared for it as a result of contesting Saturday’s race....

He wants soft ground – that much is for sure. And there will be opportunities for him in the weeks ahead. He might have a spin over hurdles before going for the Becher at Aintree. That’s one route mentioned as a possibility by connections.....

  • The pick of the prices….

Back to tomorrow’s target race and the pick of the prices….

Neil Mulholland’s SOUPY SOUPS is up at 16s and I’m swinging at that....

Mulholland has a decent record in this race. He won  in 2014 with The Young Master (who goes again tomorrow) and he was 3rd last year with Fingerontheswitch. Both horses were well down the weights. Just as this one is tomorrow.

The 8yo has taken time to get going over fences but the last couple of performances hint at better things to come....

The win at Perth in September wasn’t backed-up at  Fontwell in the first week of October – he found one too good on the day. But he did run a race. And he did it at a 2m5f trip that was always going to be on  the sharp side....

You would hope that last run has sharpened his edge for this and I just see him as a dark horse. He likes going right, I think the ground will be okay for him and Adrian Heskin is an interesting booking....

He’s not been getting many rides of late, but he has been going well on those he’s been getting.

This is an opportunity to be seen to good effect in a high-profile race...

Nick’s contrarian picks….

To recap on where my idea of the value lies tomorrow afternoon….

In the Badger Beers Silver Trophy (3.35 @ Wincanton).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – SOUPY SOUPS (16s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

That’s all from me this week.

Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd