Our resident tipster has his sights on a trio of jumpers at Wetherby this afternoon
Today’s best bets are all running over the sticks at Wetherby.
Trainer Ben Pauling ended his long losing spell when sending out Cosway Spirit to score at Towcester the other day, and that could signal a change in the stable’s fortunes. He saddles just one horse at the Yorkshire track this afternoon in the shape of URBAN STORM, who should go off at decent odds in the 2m6f handicap hurdle (2.50pm). Having been placed in a couple of Irish points, the five-year-old beat all bar Come On Laurie on his hurdles debut at Towcester and he followed that up by finishing fourth to the well regarded Monbeg Theatre when returned to that track.
That sort of form makes him of definite interest now he goes handicapping off what is a potentially lenient mark of 105, with the promise of better to come. You can ignore his tailed off effort at Ludlow when last seen out in January as his stable were going through a quiet spell and a bad blunder at the eighth wouldn’t have helped him either. This is his first run since (71 days) and some market support would be encouraging, but there’s enough to like to suggest a small each-way bet.
Sue Smith trains nearby and she is no stranger to the winner’s enclosure either, so her GREEN WIZARD is worth a second look in the 2m6f handicap chase (3.20pm). That he has a ‘F’ next to his name is a slight worry but that was was over hurdles and he’s a good jumper of fences in the main, as he showed when winning a novice chase at the course in May 2013.
The handicapper raised him to a new perch 132 on the back of that effort and he promised to keep on improving when chasing home the very smart Green Flag in a handicap for novices in November 2013. However, he lost his way after that, largely on account of racing on unsuitably soft ground, and he’s been plying his trade over hurdles this season. Now back over fences on a lowly mark of 117 and with ground conditions in his favour, he could well bounce to winning form against some fairly uninspiring rivals.
The final bet is running in the extended 2m handicap hurdle (3.55pm) with Neil Mulholland’s MR BURBIDGE looking something to bet on now he goes handicapping off a very workable mark of 105. By Midnight Legend, one of my favourite jumps’ sires, he has done all his winning on the all-weather so far (6-14), but showed there was a race in him under this code when finishing a respectable fourth in a maiden hurdle on his debut at Stratford in October.
He bettered that when finishing third in a novices’ hurdle at Fakenham earlier this month, his first run for two months, and the switch to handicap company is surely what he needs to get his head in front. His Wiltshire-based trainer is certainly going places, enjoying his best ever season, and has his string in rude health with four winners in the last fortnight. With eight rivals taking him on and all bar one having winning hurdles form to their name, I’m hopeful we can get a good price too.
Wetherby 2.50, Urban Storm each-way @ best morning-line price
Wetherby 3.20, Green Wizard @ best morning-line price
Wetherby 3.55, Mr Burbidge @ best morning-line price