Our resident tipster has three bets to get the week off to a winning note, hopefully.
The ground is likely to be riding heavy at Carlisle this afternoon and it could pay to stick to horses who are proven in the conditions.
The mud was certainly flying when SILSOL won last season’s Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las and the 158-rated hurdler looks to have been found an ideal opportunity to get off the mark over fences at the first time of asking in the 2m4f novices’ chase (1.45pm). His trainer Paul Nicholls doesn’t have many runners at the track, but he sent out Saphir Du Rheu to score at the last meeting here and the selection is the highest rated hurdler he will send novice chasing this season.
It won’t be all plain sailing for him, though, as he’s up against Seeyouatmidnight, a smart staying hurdler who was a creditable seventh in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and winning pointer Maximiser, who won both his hurdle starts last term. They are respected but Silsol was the better hurdler and has the scope to make a mark in this sphere. It’s also worth noting he won first time out last season, when not considered fully fit, and he will relish the conditions of course.
Nicholls has double prospects as he also runs Salubrious in the 3m graduation chase (2.50pm), though he faces no easy task with Oliver Sherwood’s Deputy Dan amongst his four rivals. I’d rather watch that contest and, besides, there are better bets elsewhere on the card, including the Nicky Richards-trained BAYWING in the opening novices’ handicap hurdle (1.15pm).
The six-year-old didn’t show much in four starts last season but his trainer feels he is capable of much better, saying in a recent Stable Tour: “He has a great deal more talent than he showed in his four novice hurdles last season. He’s very immature and babyish and never gave himself a chance. I think he prefers heavy ground, so we won’t try him again until he gets those conditions. Once he learns his trade I think he will be decent.”
Judging by those comments he might want a little more time. However, this race won’t take much winning and with his stable amongst the winners of late, I’m happy to have a little on today at the 5/1 on offer.
The final bet is also based on some positive comments from his trainer, in this case Neil Mulholland, who unleashes CAROLE’S VIGILANTE in the closing bumper (4.00pm). He said: “Ready to make a start and should be competitive first time out in a bumper, and he should win one of these before going novice hurdling. Big, strong chasing type who’s been schooling well.”
He’s one of two the trainer sends to the the track this afternoon – the other being Courtlands Prince, who carries top weight in the opener – and I fancy he can make the most of the 7lb he receives from the penalised Kelso winner Dante’s Way, with that rival helping to make the market.