Our racing guru is eyeing up a trio of runners this afternoon, including an 8/1 shot.
There are some tricky looking handicaps at Huntingdon this afternoon, none more so than the Pertemps qualifier over an extended 3m (due off 2.40pm).
The ten-runner field features some classy sorts including the Tom Lacey-trained SINGLEFARMPAYMENT, who landed a major gamble at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and is still potentially well treated, despite an understandable 8lb like for that success. The six-year-old was an easy winner at Southwell previously, his first try over 3m, and connections are leaving nothing to chance on his hat-trick bid by booking Davy Russell, who is here for just one ride.
The selection is closely matched with Westren Warrior on their running at Southwell and that horse must be respected on 7lb better terms. However, the Lacey inmate is clearly improving fast and can confirm the form. A bigger threat may come from bottom weight Amiral Collonges, who hacked up at Ascot last time on his British handicap debut off 10lb lower.
The 2m4f handicap run later on the card (3.50pm) is a real head-scratcher but there are grounds for thinking the Philip Hobbs-trained SANDYGATE can outrun his 16/1 odds. He’s that price as he was out with the washing at Haydock last time and before that he could only finish third at Fontwell when sent off at odds-on. However, the very soft ground may have been against him on each occasion and he’s best judged on a close-up third on good ground at Worcester last May, when stepping up to this trip for the first time.
Today’s better ground should therefore help the six-year-old rediscover his best form and the chances are that he’s on a fair mark, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to see him go well in what is a wide open race.
Turning to the all-weather now and it could well be that the Ralph Beckett-trained INSWING has a better chance than her odds suggest in the opening 1m handicap at Lingfield (1.15pm). Although a shade disappointing last time, she didn’t enjoy the run of the race and may have found three races in the space of a month coming too quickly.
Given a 25-day break since and now dropping in grade, she could well bounce back to the form she showed when claiming second previously at Wolverhampton (despite being badly drawn) off what looks a generous opening handicap mark of 65, with claimer Patrick O’Donnell removing 5lb. The stable in good nick too with the last six runners achieving finishing positions of 262421.