There are five British meetings to bet on this afternoon / evening, but our resident tipster is taking a selection approach with just a couple of runners taking the eye.
There are some tricky handicaps to unravel at today’s five British meetings, but I’m hopeful I’ve cracked a couple of them.
Nottingham’s 6f handicap (due off 4.10pm) has attracted a biggish field of 13 and there’s a good mix of veterans (three are aged ten or older) and some less exposed younger horses, with BUSH WARRIOR very much falling into the latter bracket. The Robert Eddery-trained four-year-old lines up after just eight starts (three on turf) and he’s shown more than enough to suggest he can land a modest handicap of this nature off his current mark of 64.
Having been placed in three of his four juvenile starts, including here last May, the selection showed an appreciation for the switch back to turf when third of 15 runners at Windsor two starts back, just over a length behind the winner Glastonberry, who gave the form a boost when going in again on his subsequent start. He followed that by running fifth in a Class 5 at Newmarket under a 3lb claimer and is therefore dropping down a grade this afternoon, while Adam Beschizza takes over in the saddle.
Despite the numbers, it’s a race that won’t take much winning. Spowarticus has been put in as 5/1 favourite by some firms, but he’s done all his winning on the all-weather and off lower marks than today’s, while the current second favourite Indian Affair is another who seems best on sand.
They will do well to stop the selection and I’m encouraged further by his position in the market – he’s now clear 9/2 favourite with all firms having been a couple of points bigger last night. Money often talks when it comes to the stable’s handicappers with Sunday’s Goodwood scorer Donncha the latest Eddery-trained market leader to oblige. Indeed, since the start of the 2013 season, the trainer’s record with favourites in handicap company reads an impressive 3164163111 (5/10) and backing them all blind would have yielded a small £1 level-stakes profit of £8.58.
The other one to back, albeit at a shorter price, is the Roger Charlton-trained MCCREERY, who was last seen winning a Newbury maiden on his sole juvenile start last September. That was a cracking performance as he was reportedly unsuited by the “slow ground” and he had several previous winners in behind. The handicapper has allotted him a mark of 85 based on that effort and I’d be surprised if he didn’t turn out to be a good deal better. He’s a half brother to the same stable’s Thistle Bird, who was Group-class and ended her career on a high in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, and he’s clearly inherited some of her talent. His trainer has a 24% strike rate at the track and the booking of George Baker (21% on stable runners since 2010) is the icing on the cake.