After hitting the bookmakers with a 10/1 winner on Bank Holiday Monday, we're playing up our winnings on four fancied runners this afternoon / evening.
The Micky Hammond stable is on fire with a double at Cartmel on Bank Holiday Monday making it eight winners in the last fortnight, and his last 12 runners have achieved finishing positions of 133118119511.
Having tipped up the last of those winners here at 10/1 – hope you were on – I see no reason to change a winning formula and I’m napping the trainer’s VERKO, who gets weight from all his rivals in the 3m handicap hurdle at Hexham this evening (7.40pm). Placed in a couple of Irish points, the six-year-old showed his best form for his current stable when upped to this trip at Newcastle in November, finishing second to a well-backed favourite. On that evidence he’s up to winning a race of this nature and, while he’s failed to reach the same heights on his last two starts, he has dropped in the weights as a result and useful claimer Craig Nichol takes a further 3lb off his back.
His stablemate ROXYFET can provide Hammond with a double when he runs in the 2m handicap chase run later on the card (8.10pm). A three-time winner in France, he has taken a while to acclimatise but he looked to be getting the hang of things at Sedgefield last time, when finding only subsequent winner My Friend George too good. Nichol’s claim cancels out a 3lb rise for that effort and there ought to be plenty more improvement to come from the five-year-old.
The Verko-Roxyfet double pays just over 18/1 with Betfair, who were just one of two firms up at the time of writing – it could be worth shopping around in the morning.
No apologies for tipping up another Hammond inmate, but this time on the flat at Redcar. The trainer’s sole runner at the seaside track is FORT BELVEDERE and the seven-year-old looks to have been given a right chance by the handicapper. Rated 90 when finishing third in an Ayr handicap back in June 2013, he has tumbled to a mark of just 70 as a result of some less than stellar effort since and a year-long absence due to injury. He would have needed his comeback run over course and distance last month – noted keeping on in the final furlong under today’s pilot Graham Lee – and the stable is in much better form now. The 1m apprentice handicap (3.50pm) he contests won’t take much winning.
Charlie Hills looks to have turned the corner after a quiet start to the season and his Little Voice will be a popular choice for the 5f maiden fillies’ stakes at Leicester (3.00pm). A fair fourth at Windsor on her debut, she’s not opposed lightly here, but I can’t resist a bet on Mick Channon’s JERSEY BREEZE at twice the price. She too ran a race full of promise on her racecourse debut, staying on to finish third at Salisbury behind a couple of well regarded and more experienced rivals. A 105,000 Euros sister to a 6f/7f juvenile winner, she looks sure to win one of these before too long and her trainer’s comments in a recent Stable Tour make her an irresistible bet this afternoon.
He said: “Very nice, high-class filly, beautiful looking; she goes very well. We think a bit of her and she’ll come on a ton for the race at Salisbury – she’s a bit of a character and we thought she could get beat first time and there were a lot of fancied runners in the race. But she’s got a great demeanour – she’s smashing and she’s been showing us plenty.”
I think he likes her and so do I at the 6/1 on offer!