My bets for tomorrow's big handicaps....

Last Updated: 26.12.2016

26th December 2016

Good evening, friends,

In today’s ATC Extra bulletin….

  • My bets for tomorrow’s big handicaps….

My bets for tomorrow’s big handicaps….

I was disappointed that Shotgun Paddy didn’t get into tomorrow’s afternoon’s Welsh Grand National at Chepstow (2.40). I think he had a cracking chance off his current mark….

Any other year a weight of 10-10 would have guaranteed Emma Lavelle’s charge a run – but not this time round and I must look elsewhere….

On the better ground the race will be run on this term, weight shouldn’t be the issue it is when the ground is deep at Chepstow. Native River, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner, is clearly a good horse and under a 4lb penalty for his Newbury win he has obvious claims.

The market is well onto that fact though. And quotes of 4s make no appeal to me from a betting perspective. I’m much more interested in the general 14s about Kerry Lee’s BISHOPS ROAD.

I think that’s a fair each-way price about a horse who ran a decent-enough trial first-time-out this term at Newcastle and who should improve tomorrow for that pipe-opener.

The Lee family have a cracking record in this race and whilst most of the attention this time round is on Mountainous and his attempts to win the race for the third time, Bishops Road could well steal the limelight on the day. He’ll stay and vibes coming out of the yard suggest he is expected to give a good account of himself.

Over at Leopardstown in the Paddy Power Chase (3.00) I’m siding with the horse that race Bishop Road’s ran in up at Newcastle last month, OTAGO TRAIL at the general 16s – a decent each-way price.

Venetia Williams’s charge might well be burdened with top-weight for tomorrow’s race but I reckon a mark of just 150 – he was put up just 4lb for the Newcastle win – is still well short of what this soft-ground performer will ultimately prove capable of.

This afternoon’s Roland Meyrick at Wetherby might have been an easier target for the 8yo. But connections have opted instead to send him to Ireland for the bigger pot – and I take that as a big positive.

The bottom line for me is that a mark of 150 shouldn’t be enough to halt progression and if he replicates the kind of performance he put in at Newcastle, he’ll be running and jumping a few of tomorrow’s opponents off their feet.

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….

In the Welsh Grand National (2.40 @ Chepstow)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – BISHOPS ROAD each-way (14s generally)

In the Paddy Power Chase (3.00 @ Leopardstown)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – OTAGO TRAIL each-way (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 for today. Enjoy the reset of the Christmas period.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra