12th January 2018
Tomorrow afternoon’s Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton (2.40) provides our target action this weekend….
It’s a Listed-class race for horses aged 4yo+ over the 2m5f trip….
Nicky Henderson’s William Henry and Alan King’s River Frost both carry 11-12 courtesy of their 145 official ratings.
Down at the other end of the scale, Nick Williams’s Man From Mars rated 122 carries 10-3….
A field of 16 runners go top post on ground described as soft this afternoon….
It looks a pretty competitive race with three co-favourites all chalked up at 6s this afternoon – Diese De Bieffes, William Henry and River Frost.
Two of those – Diese De Bieffes, William Henry – are Nicky Henderson horses. He’s got a decent record in the race with a winner and four placers from his last 14 representatives.
Both are lightly raced. Both are progressing with each run. Both have strong chances. But the market is on to them and this column is not about backing the short horses.
The other co-jolly, River Frost, is an Alan King horse. He’s been going well – but still managed to get beaten off marks lower than tomorrow’s in his last two races – albeit in good company….
And King’s record in handicap hurdle events at the track over the last 5-years must represent something of a negative. He’s produced just 3 winners from the last 50 he’s sent there….
For the record: of the trainers with runners in tomorrow’s contest, Nicky Henderson is the man with the best record in handicap hurdle races at the track – producing 13 winners from his last 56 qualifying runners….
It must be acknowledged that the winner of this race has come out of the front three in the betting in 8 of the last 10 years. But, if we paid attention to that kind of stat we’d be betting single-figure horses week-in-and-week out. Come what may, our job is to find the right horses at the wrong prices….
We’ll get to my selections for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
First a quick word on the additional value bets I’ll be placing tomorrow….
The Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick provides the feature event for our purposes this weekend….
A field of 14-runners will race over the stamina-sapping 3m5f trip on soft ground….
I’m two-against-the-field with a pair of horses I believe are underestimated at the prices….
You can get immediate access to these extra bets on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
Nick Williams has a cracking record in this race – winning it three times in the last decade and I think his DENTLEY DE MEE is overpriced at quotes of 25s generally and 28s with Ladbrokes this afternoon….
Like a couple of the other Williams winners he’s lightly-raced having had just 3 runs and he might be a little dismissed owing to the fact he got beaten last time in a C4 handicap off a mark of 114 at Ludlow.
There’s no getting away from that but the official handicapper saw enough in the run to hoist him 11lbs up the ratings to 125 and if nothing else, the race proved that the horse stays tomorrow’s 2m5f trip.
Truth be told, the 5yo was in control of the race and should have won. Maybe there was a little inexperience at work, but he fell victim to the late run of the winner. The rest were well behind and it should be noted that Dentley De Mee was conceding lumps of weight to the winner.
He could be anything. I’m certain he’ll prove smarter than a 125-rated horse and I expect him to turn up with intent tomorrow. The yard likes targeting this race and he won’t be half-cocked.
You could back that one each-way if that’s the way you like to play. I like playing to win and, whilst I sometimes live to regret it, I prefer to go two-against-the-field….
The other one I’m going with is WISHFULL DREAMING who has his first run for Olly Murphy tomorrow….
You might recall that Hunters Call was having his first run for Murphy when landing a big handicap hurdle at Ascot last month. I’m banking on the up-and-coming handler pulling off the same trick again….
He hasn’t had as long to work with this one as he had with Hunters Call but Murphy reports the horse to be working well. He runs well off a break and the application of a first-time tongue tie could be a feature that serves to help him. At general quotes of 20s and 22s with Ladbrokes, he’s not a bad bet.
In tomorrow’s Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Kempton, 2.40)….
DENTLEY DE MEE @ 25s (generally) & 28s (Ladbrokes)
WISHFULL DREAMING @ 20s (generally & 22s (Ladbrokes)
Standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. Go in each-way, if that’s the way you play. I’ll be backing both horses win only.
A few tidbits to keep you occupied between races at the weekend….
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.
P.S. Keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow. I’ve got some exciting news to bring you about a new price-oriented sports-betting service that I rate very highly and will be putting to use over the next few weeks….