Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 10.11.2017

Friday, 10th November 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

The Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton is the feature handicap that makes most appeal as a betting medium for value-seeking purposes this weekend....

A maximum-field of 18 runners goes to post at Wincanton tomorrow afternoon (3.35). The ground is described as good to soft (soft in places this afternoon). But with quite a bit of rain forecast overnight, conditions underfoot might well be testing by the time they go to post....

Paul Nicholls has fantastic record at this meeting. And that record includes runners going well in this race – and it his 7yo Present Man who heads the market this afternoon at 7s.

Fair enough. He won on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton. But all his good work to date has been done on a sounder surface than he’ll get tomorrow and against small-field opposition. Those tow facts combine to make him vulnerable and I’m happy to take him on....

  • Watching Brief....

Southfield Royale is interesting. He’s dropped to a dangerously low mark – pretty much because nothing went right for him last term.

The Neil Mulholland team have had a few problems with him, but he’s always been thought of as a Ladbrokes Trophy Chase horse (formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup) and he’s been given an entry for next month’s race at Newbury....

Back to his absolute best, you can see him hosing up at Wincanton tomorrow. But I think he’s been found at 12s....

And, in any case, the noises coming out of the Mulholland yard earlier in the week just give me the impression that tomorrow’s race is a starting point rather than a plotted-up target....

But I will be very interested to see how this horse goes. He was sent off as favourite in the 2016 edition of the 4-miler at the Cheltenham Festival – a race in which Native River and Minella Rocco came to the fore....

He got beaten into 4th but was not disgraced by any degree. He might not be as good as those two Gold Cup performers. But 138 is a mark that he can make a mockery of if Mulholland is working hi back to his best....

  • This one gets his ground....

The one I want to be with at the prices is David Dennis’s FINAL NUDGE. At 20s, I think he’s a nice each-way bet....

During the early stages of his chase career Dennis confined this horse to small-field events in a bid to build his confidence. But the horse was let off the leash at Uttoxeter in the Midlands Grand National in March – his first go in Open company....

The big field didn’t bother him, nor did the significant step-up in class, and he ran a good race – travelling well and still very much in contention when coming down 4 fences from home....

Forget his run at Ayr next time. He ran too keen that afternoon and losing a shoe didn’t help his cause either.

He hasn’t had a prep run for tomorrow’s assignment at Wincanton and the cheekpieces he’s had on the last few times are not declared tomorrow.

On the upside, Dennis had the horse fit enough to win first-time-up last term and the horse gets his ground tomorrow – unlike several of the opposition.

He’s in the right place in the handicap for this, he’s lightly-raced and open to plenty more progression and that run at Uttoxeter tells us that he’s a proper stayer.

On testing conditions tomorrow, he could be sticking on nicely at the end of this.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Badger Ales Trophy (3.35 @ Wincanton)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – FINAL NUDGE each-way (20s 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.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back a little later with ATC Extra....

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd