Our racing guru is hoping a couple of Newbury lonsghots can belie their odds.
Having highlighted a few short priced winners this week, I’m going value-hunting with a couple of outsiders running at Newbury this afternoon.
First up is the Robin Dickin-trained BADGERS COVE who was tipped up here for a race at Ludlow last week, only for the meeting to be abandoned. As then, the 12-year-old looks to have it to do taking on ten mostly race-fit rivals in this afternoon’s 2m4f handicap hurdle (due off 4.30pm) after an absence of 720 days. However, he has gone well fresh in the past and has been cut some slack by the handicapper having dropped to a mark of 110, which is 13lb lower than his last winning one. And presumably he has been showing something of his old spark at home otherwise connections would have retired him.
But what makes him of real interest is the form of his stable. Dickin has endured a pretty wretched winter and has just three winners on the board, but they have all come since the beginning of February and his last six runners have achieved finishing positions of 120P21. The two seconds were sent off at 7/1 and 20/1 so the yard has clearly turned the corner and that has to bode well for Badgers Cove, who is a three-time hurdles winner and has the form in the book to make him a big player.
For much the same reason, I’m also going to put up that horse’s stablemate GET INVOLVED who is an each-way price in the 3m handicap hurdle run later on the card (5.05pm). He is not coming off such a long absence – 76 days to be exact – but does have something to find in form. That he has ability is certain as he’s an Irish point-to-point winner and finished a respectable third in a maiden hurdle at Southwell on his stable debut, albeit back in March of last year.
His more recent efforts are less encouraging – his form figures this season read P45P – but that was at a time when his stable was badly out of sorts and the handicapper has dropped him to a career-low of 102. A nicely bred son of Milan out of a Strong Gale mare, he really should have a future at this game and today’s class 4 contest, in which he gets weight from all bar one of his rivals, offers him the chance to show it.
Some market support would be encouraging for both selections, but either way a couple of each-way singles and a double to small stakes can’t do much damage.