Our resident tipster likes a 16/1 shot in the day's feature at Catterick.
Catterick provides today’s sole jumps action and the feature race, the North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase run over the marathon trip of 3m5f (due off 2.50pm), looks a decent betting heat with 14 runners set to go to post.
There are three last-time-out winners amongst them and the best of these may be the Henry Hogarth-trained Alto Des Mottes. He’s the youngest in the field at six and he didn’t just win last time at Newcastle, he absolutely hacked up by 13 lengths. The handicapper has not been kind, though, raising him 13lb and he’s therefore reluctantly swerved in what is a much better race.
You can make a good case for several others but I’ll cut to the chase with my tip, the Neil King-trained top weight DELGANY DEMON, who has been running well in defeat (mainly) and has given the impression he needs a proper stamina test like this.
The eight-year-old needs forgiving a poor run at Newbury when last seen out in December (well beaten when unseating), but he may been feeling the effects of a couple of hard races over 3m at Exeter and Ascot previously, keeping on well to finish second on both occasions.
At his best on ground with plenty of cut in it (has won on soft and heavy), he will relish the underfoot conditions this afternoon and the switch to a left-handed track is another thing in his favour as he has shown a tendency to jump left at his fences. Indeed, that may have cost him the race at Ascot.
The selection is one of just two horses that King travels up with from his Wiltshire base and connections must be hopeful he can make it pay with over £12k to the winner and prize money down to sixth. For each-way betting purposes he needs to finish in the first three and I reckon he can deliver.
Today’s all-weather action takes place at Southwell and Chelmsford, with the latter track providing today’s nap selection, the Derek Shaw-trained WELLIESINTHEWATER, who has taken his form to another level in two recent starts over track and trip, finishing second on both occasions.
On his Chelmsford debut two outings ago, he led for most of the way before being caught close home by Ziggys Star, who followed up off a 3lb higher mark. He didn’t enjoy such an easy lead last time but had still shaken off his nearest pursuer 2f out, only to be run down by the progressive Gentlemen (winner here yesterday), with the pair pulling well clear of the remainder.
The handicapper has strangely dropped him 1lb for his latest effort and he gets weight from all bar one of his seven rivals this afternoon. Of these, the hat-trick seeking Dutch Golden Age is feared most, though he will find it tougher to make up ground under his big weight at this track, after winning his last two at Kempton from well off the pace.