Our resident tipster is hopeful today's bets can give the weekend betting bank a timely boost.
Mick Channon does well with those horses he runs over jumps and he can be amongst the winners at Fakenham this afternoon.
His KNOCK HOUSE won on his seasonal reappearance at the track 12 months ago and I fancy he can repeat that feat in this afternoon’s handicap chase over an extended 3m (due off 4.00).
He beat five rivals when winning a novices’ chase over slightly shorter last October, with some decent sorts amongst them, and he faces just four rivals today. Three have already had a run and may therefore have a fitness advantage, but the selection has likely been readied for this race by his in-form trainer and he looks on a workable mark of 138.
Fakenham doesn’t suit all horses as it’s a sharp circuit and, as the runners are constantly on the turn, it helps to be ridden prominently. Today’s pilot Brian Hughes executed those tactics to perfection last autumn, with his mount earning the form comments: “Jumped boldly, led or disputed lead until definite advantage 12th, urged along and quickened clear after two out, impressive.”
Hughes was also on board when the gelding ran out an easy winner at Huntingdon in April and clearly knows how to get a good tune out of the six-year-old. The biggest threat may come from recent Bangor second Open Hearted and that horse is respected, but the selection looks to have more scope and could end up contesting much better races than this as the season progresses.
Today’s second bet is in quite possibly the most competitive race of the entire day, the closing 2m handicap at Haydock (5.30pm), for which 16 have been declared. That’s just fine as we get to back Ralph Beckett’s MAGIC CIRCLE at a half-decent price (was hoping for a bit bigger than 9/4 to be truthful) and the three-year-old has been in my digital notebook since beating decent yardstick Captain Navarre by four lengths on the July Course at Newmarket.
He’s not been out since – an absence of 83 days – but I’m not concerned as he won first time out at Doncaster in May and has been well entered up over the last couple of weeks, only to get balloted out, suggesting his trainer has him ready to rock and roll. Off a mark of just 72, which has to seriously underestimate his ability, he gets weight off all bar one of today’s rivals and I fancy this progressive young stayer can show them all a clear pair of hooves under regular partner Harry Bentley.
The double on today’s selections pays just over 7/1 with Ladbrokes, who are handily best price on each.