Our racing guru is eyeing up a trio of runners this afternoon to help boost the weekend betting bank.
Huntingdon provides today’s sole jumps action and there are a couple of runners that catch the eye.
The Philip Hobbs-trained THREE FACES WEST was making his handicap/stable debut when finishing third in a decent hurdle race at Haydock last month. That was a cracking effort given he had been off the track for 276 days and he is well worth an interest in this afternoon’s novices’ handicap chase (due off 3.20pm), with the switch to fences likely to be the making of him.
Formerly with Donald McCain, who trained him to win three of his four hurdle starts, he has always been considered a future chaser and while he’s a late starter at eight, he is very lightly-raced for his age and is bred to be successful at this game being a strapping son of Dr Massini. This is quite a tough introduction, which helps his price of course, but he might just be too classy for his four rivals.
Trainer Ben Pauling is on for his best ever season with 16 winners already on the board and Drumacoo was the latest to advertise his talents when hacking up in a novice chase at the last meeting here. THE HON MACKINLAY, his sole representative this afternoon, could well follow suit in the opening handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys (1.20pm) as he has plenty going for him.
The seven-year-old has been making steady progress in novice and maiden company, including when finishing sixth (of 17) at Doncaster last time. Based on those efforts, the handicapper has allotted him a potentially generous mark of 105 for his handicap debut and he should also appreciate today’s extra three furlongs. Pauling has booked 5lb claimer Liam McKenna and it’s worth noting he won on his sole previous ride at the track.
Despite his long losing run, there were plenty of punters willing to put their faith in the Les Eyre-trained BOXING SHADOWS, who was sent off 2/1 favourite for a 5f handicap at Lingfield earlier this month. They were perhaps unlucky not to collect as the six-year-old helped force what was a very strong pace and, having taken it up a 1f out, he was only collared close home by one that was held up.
Given that was his start since July, he was entitled to need it and he is surely worth another chance in a similar race this afternoon off the same mark as when last successful and 7lb lower than when a close second over track and trip last March. He has just four to beat and while the hat-trick seeking Roy’s Legacy is amongst them and is respected, this could well be the turn of the selection – and not before time!