Our in-form resident tipster has three more horses to back this afternoon/evening.
The winners have been flowing on here of late and much of the success is down to paying attention to what trainers say in various Stable Tours and interviews – it’s like gold dust!
Today’s first bet, David Dennis’ FINAL NUDGE, is no exception and the six-year-old looks something to bet on when be runs in this afternoon’s 2m5f novices’ hurdle (due off 3.30pm) at Wincanton.
He is unusual in that he had four runs in bumpers but it was for a good reason as the trainer wanted to build up his confidence after a heavy fall in a point-to-point when he looked like the winner. A couple of those runs were in Listed company – he was fourth in both – and sandwiched in between was a victory at Bangor.
He then finished second on his hurdles debut at Taunton in March, when his jumping was still a bit deliberate, before being finding Grade 1 company at Aintree a little too hot to handle on his final start. Reappearing at Market Rasen earlier this month (2m2f), his jumping was far more assured and he was perhaps unlucky to be beaten a short head having been in front sooner then he wanted and then getting caught in the dying strides.
That race did turn into a bit if a sprint and what he really wants is more of a stamina test, which he should get here. His trainer, who has been amongst the winners of late, would agree and said in a Stable Tour: “He’ll appreciate a longer trip and looks a surefire winner next time if I can find the right race, so I’ve given him several options this week. Look out for him.”
With some of the bigger stables represented here, including Paul Nicholls’ Present Man, runner-up on his hurdles debut at the track last month, I’m hopeful we can back the selection at a good price.
Dan Skelton is another trainer going great guns and his OLDGRANGEWOOD is fancied to make a winning debut under Rules in the opening “national hunt” novices’ hurdle at Market Rasen (12.30pm).
The winner of his only start in an Irish point-to-point, he looks a ready-made winner of one of these on soft ground (forecast), before going chasing next season. His trainer has been sounding positive, saying in a Stable Tour “we like what we’ve seen”, and he should be about backable price due to the presence of last-time-out winner Western Miller, whose stable is out of form. I expect Harry Skelton will give him a positive ride from the front to make use of his stamina.
The final bet is running on the all-weather at Chelmsford in the shape of the Richard Hannon-trained STEAL THE SCENE. A dual winner on turf, he showed he acted on this surface when finishing third over a mile here earlier this month, doing best of those who raced prominently on his first start since June. This represents a step up in class but he’s clearly going the right way and both his wins came on his second start back from a layoff. The drop back to 7f won’t bother him either as he won over that trip at Leicester in May.