Only 3 races I'm really interested in tomorrow:-

Note: The prices in red are my tissue prices, not those available

Wincanton 3:10:- Copain De Classe 3/1, River Frost 4/1, Tornado in Milan 7/1, Space oddity 13/2, clondaw shane 7/1, sirop de menthe 10/1, 14/1 bar

Now im going to start off by saying that I couldnt be having a bet here. Copain de classe is my favourite as his rating of 121 seems extremely workable considering how he beat Shantou Rock in a novice race at Chepstow.

That being said he is unproven on ground like he will face tomorrow . River Frost brings winning form to the table however a 10lb rise for a race he wasnt sure to win last time out with Meet the Legend sadly falling at the last while still in the lead, now whether you think he would of won or not he has done his racing in the uk on Good-ish ground and tomorrow will be a whole different sort of test.

Tornado in Milan has been running consistently well over fences and with the use of a 10lb claimer is 2lb below his last win mark over fences and 1lb below his last hurdles win mark and goes in the conditions . Space oddity was very fortunate in my opinion to win last time out and is up 5lb in a far deeper race.

Clondaw Shane only looks fairly handicapped and the tongue tie will need to eek something out of him that I have yet to see. Sirop de Menthe may have ran badly last time out but revels in heavy ground and is no stranger to these competitive quality hurdles contests, it would be a mistake to discount him. All in all this is a tricky little contest with question marks over a lot of the runners for me.

Plays & suggestions:- I mean 9/4 about River Frost and Copain de classe is far too short in my opinion, if I'm backing a horse at those prices I want it to be bulletproof. I think Tornado in Milan and Sirop de Menthe are underestimated by the market but I wouldnt be surprised if they dont shorten simply as the front two are going to be all the rage in this one.

From my perspective I would probably side with a small e/w on Tornado in Milan but not with any conviction. Unless your convinced of your case about one of the front two perhaps this is best left alone.

Wincanton 3:45 :- Vic De Touzaine 4/1 , Ballygarvey   11/2   ,  Rothman 13/2  , Gores Island  7/1, Pilgrims bay 7/1, Oscar Sunset    8/1 , Pain Au chocolat   7/1 , Flaming Charmer   8/1   14/1 bar

Now pricing this one up was pretty difficult as lots of these have questions to answer for one reason or another.

So at the front of the market we have Vic de Touzaine who represents the only bit of winning form in the race. Now I realise this is his seasonal reappearance but with it's coming this late in the season its safe to assume he's fit and he has his favoured Heavy conditions, he received a 9lb rise for winning last time out which seemed fair considering how easily he got the job done and the fact he'd been looking very likely in previous races, the horse he beat Toby Lerone won next time out off 1lb lower quite convincingly, this represents strong form and deserves to be at the head of the market.

Bet 365 have put up 13/2, which I would regard as very good value, I can easily see this horse going off shorter than this. Now we come to Ballgarvey its hard to know where we are with him considering his comeback run was shrouded in mist , all we know is he came home 3rd, now he should come on for that run and what we do know is that before his absence from the track  he regularly competed in a higher class than this (winning a cl2 off 130) and has won a cl3 off 134, so if fit he is well handicapped. 7/1 seems about right to me, not enough value to be tempting me in, but worth keeping an eye on his price as if he was struggling for fitness last run (Fog stopped me from drawing conclusions), the market will let you know whats expected off him tomorrow.

Rothman represents an interesting form line in the cl3 boxing day handicap hurdle at Kempton which is currently working out well and he ran well last time out behind Foxtail Hill who went on to win at Cheltenham in a Group 3 this weekend gone. Its hard to knock these pieces of form especially when you consider he easily finished in front of the well backed Ericht last time out, Rothman has a consistent profile and we can expect another good run from him tomorrow. 10/1 or thereabouts seems very generous considering whats just been said, but I wouldn't be sure that price will go as there are a lot more “popular” choices in this race.

Gores Island ran well at Sandown, and the horse who beat him was running well at Cheltenham at the weekend before coming down but I dont think the form is quite as solid, not many horses got into it that day at Sandown and a 5lb rise for a 3rd place seems very harsh.

Now the rest have questions to answer, Pain au Chocolat is highly tried but has been poor this season. Pilgrims Bay was beaten 12l's off the same mark and Oscar Sunset's jumping was all at sea when last seen.

Plays & suggestions:- The money usually like Dusky Lark, but I just cant have it at 13/2 , in my opinion thats got to drift. I really cant see Flaming Charmer going off that price, He was heavily backed last time and likes heavy conditions but is still above his last win mark and was quite easily beaten last time off the same mark. I'd back Vic de Touzaine at 13/2 I really dont think there's much chance he goes off a bigger price.

Towcester 2:45 :- What a Diva 7/2, Scooby 5/1, Deckers Delight 11/2 , Minella Gathering 7/1, Quarry wizard 7/1, 10/1 Pink Gin, 12/1 bar

What a Diva won last time out at Exeter in a mares race, but is bred for this step up in trip and the heavy ground should hold no concerns for her. The 4lb rise she received seemed slightly lenient and this step up in trip could bring about some improvement.

Prices of around 3/1 are not very attractive but I cant really see her drifting. Now Scooby is a consistent sort but has had two cracks off 104 and failed to get the job done (all be it running respectable races) now I'm not convinced he will revel in the heavy going but has to be given respect with his consistent profile. Prices of around the 7/1 mark are not quite enough to tempt me in personally, but he has been backed heavily his last two races .

Now Deckers Delight is a horse who loves bottomless ground and an extended trip and that's exactly what he will get tomorrow. First time visor goes on and with the use of a 5lb claim he's effectively 3lb below his last win mark , he is of extreme interest. Again another horse with not enough value to tempt me in, but I could see this one easing in the market. Minella Gathering is a tricky one  and has run some nice races after being off the track since 2014 but Amantius has disappointed since and this looks a stronger race than his last one where he was beaten 9l's off the same mark , but the stable had a nice winner in Doitforthevillage yesterday so does come with some positives.

Now horses like quarry wizard always give me a headache, never shown anything in novice company and tried over a distance that is clearly far too short, he seemed to revel in the soft conditions last time out in an amateurs race and being a PTP winner coupled with the way he finished his last race (over 19.5f's) off , I would expect to see a big improvement over this trip. 10/1 is not encouraging me to take the risk having never seen the horse over this trip. Pink Gin although winning last time out still has questions to answer in my opinion, it was a weak race he won last time out and he's up in class here and got a harsh penalty of 10lbs for his last win(making his mark 107) , which considering he'd already failed to win off 100,105,110 seems a tough ask. Pink Gin at 4/1 would be the horse I would expect to significantly move outwards, along with Lime street who has to surely go off more  like the 21.0 mark on the exchange.

Possible Plays and strategies:- The money has come for Scooby in his last 2 races and his third place finish off the same mark probably wont discourage the same people who backed him last time sticking with him again in a weaker race. I would keep an eye on his price if it starts going you could take the 13/2 and easily expect to lay around the 5.5-6.4 mark tomorrow and have a nice trade to nothing. My main play would be to try and lay Pink Gin on the exchange, I cant see it going off that price , and even if it does I quite happily be a layer at the 5.5 mark anyway.

Joe Oakey

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