Our racing expert likes a trio of Stratford runners.
The jumpers are in action at Stratford this evening and three in particular catch the eye.
It’s been a long time since MART LANE saw the winners’ enclosure – September 2014 to be exact – but the 11-year-old has dropped to a very good mark as a result and he could be about to take advantage in the 2m4f handicap chase (6.50pm) with Richard Johnson booked.
Rated 142 at his peak, he is running off 103 here and, while he’s probably not as good as he once was, he should strip fitter for a recent spin at Cartmel where he was making his debut for Sophie Leech after nearly a year off. Now returned to the scene of one of his four chase wins and with the champion jockey doing the steering, he looks well worth chancing at a double-figure price. Small stakes, mind.
Dr Richard Newland has his string ticking over very nicely indeed with four winners coming from his last nine in the last fortnight – and that bodes well for TIGER TREK, his sole runner this evening in the 2m handicap hurdle (7.20pm).
The ex-Irish seven-year-old has gradually been finding his form for the good doctor and, having been pulled up on his stable debut at Southwell (lost his action reportedly), he found only Eddiemaurice too good at Worcester last time. Off the same mark here and with Sam Twiston-Davies renewing the partnership, he can go one better.
The feature 2m3f handicap chase (7.50pm) is wide open with none of the seven runners priced at bigger than 7/1. At least we’re assured of a decent price if we can land on the winner and David Bridgwater’s WALDEN PRINCE should give us a good run for our money.
The nine-year-old has a 1-3 strike rate (4-12) over fences and has kept his form remarkably well since landing a hat-trick at Uttoxeter last July. His latest effort, a length second to Parsnip Pete at Aintree (2m) off just 1lb lower, was arguably a career-best and the way he was coming home strongly suggests he might take another step forward over today’s slightly longer trip, with the booking of Tom Scudamore – 19% strike rate on the stable runners for £1 level-stakes profit of £13.72 – doesn’t harm his chances either.