Our racing expert likes the look of a couple of big-priced runners at Haydock.
Michael Dods has his string in fantastic form (5 winners from the last 15 runners) and his POMME DE TERRE might therefore be able to put a couple of below-par runs behind him when he runs in the 6f handicap at Haydock this afternoon (3.20pm).
It’s a very competitive heat and that bookmakers are going 7/1 the field tells you it won’t be easy to find the winner. But the reward is there if we can figure out the puzzle and the selection is very temptingly priced at 20/1. That’s surely on the long side as the four-year-old is very good on his day and over this trip, as he showed when winning at Thirsk and York earlier this season.
He’s run shockers on his last two starts, hence the price, but his in-form trainer has not lost faith in him, saying in a recent Stable Tour that he had “discovered a few niggles” since his last run and that these had been put right. He also said: “he’s moving well at the moment, looks great and he’ll win again before the end of the year.” Today? Why not as he is sporting cheek-pieces for the first time and appears to be drawn well in stall 14, with several fancied horses around him. An each-way bet looks the way to go, though.
Bryan Smart is another trainer going great guns right now and he looks to hold several chances today, with his pair of Musselburgh runners, Playtothewhistle (6.20) and Wotnot (7.50), expected to go close. However, his STRAIGHTOTHEPOINT makes more appeal as a value bet in the 5f handicap at Haydock (3.55pm) at double-figure odds and having been given a favourable mention in a recent Stable Tour.
Granted, plenty can be fancied in what is wide open heat, but the selection looked on good terms with himself when finishing runner-up in a fair sprint at Leicester 17 days ago. That run can be upgraded as he’d been off the track for over two months having, according to his trainer, pulled a shoe off when out in the field and pricked himself. Smart also said: “That was a very good run and he should step up on it, so I expect him to win again soon.”
While he’s never won over the minimum trip, he has gone close over it on several occasions and if anything he appears to be getting faster with age, as he was prominent for most of the 6f at Leicester and led until inside the final furlong. Granted some luck in running then he should make a bold under Paul Mulrennan, who has a fair 16% strike rate on the stable runners with all his rides since 2012 yielding a whopping £1 level-stakes profit of £91.52.