Our racing guru is eyeing up a trio of runners for potential profit this afternoon.
Just four runners will go to post for Market Rasen’s “national hunt” novices’ hurdle over 2m4f and the favourite, Onefitzall, is worth taking on at the forecast 5/4.
Having impressed in winning his first two starts at Uttoxeter (a bumper and a hurdle), he was sent off at odds-on to land the hat-trick at Leicester last time, only to let his supporters down by finishing a one-paced third. That was back in November and while the break may have done him some good, he equally might just need this run.
Besides he’s up against a highly promising sort in Malcolm Jefferson’s SHARPASAKNIFE, who was a ready winner of a similar race at Wetherby on his racecourse debut last month. The six-year-old, who is out of a mare who has produced three useful hurdlers, led approaching three out and came away from a previous winner to win by 11 lengths. His trainer sees him as a future chaser but reckons he’s big enough to carry a penalty and win more hurdles. This looks an excellent opportunity for him to follow up.
Milly Baboo has run well on her last two visits to the Lincolnshire track, including when winning over this trip on her penultimate start, and she has obvious claims in this afternoon’s 2m4f handicap hurdle (3.35pm). However, she’s running off a career-high mark (a stone higher them her winning one) and it could be she is now taking on a better handicapped rival in PETROU.
The Ben Case-trained six-year-old is tackling handicap company for the first time this afternoon and the assessor may have let him in lightly on a mark of 113, with the step up in trip another positive. He has been showing progressive form in decent novice company over 2m, including when finishing runner-up to the very smart Ma Du Fou at Bangor last time, and he’s run well here, finishing third in a bumper on his racecourse debut. After just five starts, he surely has more improvement in him and it will be disappointing if he can’t land this modest contest.
It’s a case of horses for courses for my final bet with the Micky Hammond-trained ROXYFET being returned to the scene of his two British victories in this afternoon’s 2m handicap chase at Sedgefield (4.00pm). The last of those came over this trip just two starts back and he can be forgiven a rather tame follow up attempt at over 2m3f at Catterick last time (fourth of five runners) as the longer trip found him out and he was also up in grade. Back in class 5 company this afternoon and over his best trip, it’s not hard to see him dishing out a beating to six rivals, none of whom arrive at the peak of their form.