27th April 2018
We’re down at Sandown Park for this weekend’s target race – tomorrow’s bet365 Handicap Hurdle (5.15)….
This is a class 2 event over the 2m4f trip for horses aged 4yo+ and officially rated 0 to 145…
A field of 20-runners goes to post on ground described this afternoon as good….
The Philip Hobbs-trained Ballotin tops the weights on a mark of 143 – and carries a 5lb claimer to make life just that little bit easier. At the bottom Lucy Wadham’s Mystic Sky is rated 126 and carries 10-9….
Nicky Henderson’s Soul Emotion is the big riser in the field – put up 12lbs for a 6-length win over tomorrow’s course and distance last month. That was just his second outing – and the horse he beat home – Westend Story – franked the form next time out and is now also rated 137. On that evidence, Soul Emotion can overcome the rise….
Psychedelic Rock is another one who turns out on the back of a big hike. He’s up 8lbs to 132 on the back of a runner-up placing at Market Rasen back in November. He’ll have to make-good on the handicapper’s assessment of his potential first-time-up off a 156 day-break….
We’ll get to my selections for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
First a quick word on what you missed this week….
This week on ATC….
We highlighted strong reasons for taking two horses out of last Saturday’s Spring Cup at Newbury – we believe they’ll be delivering betting profits in the weeks ahead….
We revisited our rules of engagement – ahead of targeting the big handicaps over the summer on the flat….
We outlined two developments which will have had Richard Fahey clicking his heels this week….
And we reached the conclusion that David Menuisier has reason to be hopeful of landing a big handicap pot this summer….
You can view this material and a whole load of additional angles, insights and observations in the archive on the ATC website when you take a 14-day FREE trial of the ATC service. Do that right here....
Back to tomorrow’s target race and the pick of the prices….
Stuart Edmunds’s WOLF OF WINDLESHAM has clearly had his problems. He’s raced just 7 times in the last two-years – but connections have stuck with the horse and they clearly believe he's worth being patient with....
Earlier this month at Lingfield the 6yo turned out on the all-weather following his latest break – one that had lasted some 472 days....
He did fade at the end. But he was only beaten 4.5 lengths over the 2-mile trip and he was entitled to need the run....
Tomorrow he’s back over hurdles. I expect him to strip fitter for that Lingfield appearance and there are several features of his set-up that suggest he could go well....
For a start, he’ll be running off 132. He’s already been up as high as 139 (and won off 137) - and having raced just 7 times over timber, I would have expected additional progression from there. He's 132 owing to his lengthy absence. But if Edmunds has got him right, that mark could prove to be a gift....
This horse has always been considered by connections as one that would improve for a step-up from the minimum trip. Tomorrow’s the day he gets that opportunity for the first time....
He’s back at Sandown - and we know the place suits. He won a decent juvenile handicap hurdle on this card in 2016....
And Joshua Moore is back in the saddle. He’s been in the plate for three of the horse’s career wins and all his biggest assignments.
The Edmunds yard has been in decent fettle over the last fortnight - sending out multiple competitive horses in big-field events....
I’m expecting a big run. And I’m hoping for a decent price.
Trouble is the bone-idle bookies haven’t gone up with their markets yet – and I have a pressing appointment and can wait no longer. He’s my pick and if he’s double-figures, that’s ideal….
The Pick of the Prices….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the bet365 Handicap Hurdle (5.15 @ Sandown).
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.
Sandown hosts the last big handicap of the British jumps season tomorrow – the bet365 Gold Cup….
I’ve done what I usually do in the big-field handicaps and gone two-against-the-field….
I’m siding with two horses primed to go well at double-figure 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….
I had a sore head this morning after a rollicking-good night out in Birmingham with a real wildman – loud, colourful, hard to dislike and (best of all) a real livewire when it comes to the lower-grade flat-handicap scene….
I can’t say too much more right now – because there are some exciting developments still being negotiated in the background….
But I’ve known this guy for a while and I’m looking forward to getting the benefit of his input on the flat this summer....
Monday through Friday – things are going to liven up a bit. That much is for sure....
Keep your eyes peeled. I’ll come back to you with the details when I get the green light....
That’s all from me this week.
Enjoy your weekend.